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Storm Talas kills one, destroys thousands of homes

Update: July, 17/2017 - 15:55
Police in central Nghệ An Province remove trees uprooted by the storm on Monday. – VNA/VNS Photo Tá Chuyên
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Tropical storm Talas made landfall in the central provinces of Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh at around 1am on Monday, resulting in strong wind and heavy rainfall in the region that killed at least one person and destroyed thousands of houses.

The storm is gradually weakening as it moves westwards. The central provinces from Thanh Hóa to Thừa Thiên-Huế reported rainfall measuring 70-100mm. Some 100-200mm of rainfall was reported in Nghệ An through to Quảng Bình. Following the storm, the second to hit Việt Nam this year, more rainfall measuring 100 and 200mm is forecast to hit the northeast and north central localities in the next few days. Latest reports from Nghệ An said the storm has killed at least one person, who died after being hit by a sheet-metal roof blown away by strong winds.

Nearly 3,000 houses in the provinces had their roofs blown off and thousands of trees were uprooted. Electricity supply in Vinh city and several districts was cut off. Local authorities are searching for a coal ship that went missing on Sunday night with 13 people on board. One died but seven people were rescued until Monday morning.

In Hà Tĩnh and Nghệ An provinces, hundreds of houses and schools had their roofs blown off and thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.

In the next 12 hours, the storm will move westwards and is expected to weaken to a low pressure over the area between China and Laos, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Localities in mountainous areas in the northern and north-central regions, particularly Lai Châu, Điện Biên, Sơn La and Hòa Bình, as well as Lào Cai, Hà Giang, Tuyên Quang and Thái Nguyên, along with Bắc Cạn, Cao Bằng, Lạng Sơn and Quảng Ninh, in addition to Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh, were put on high alert for landslides and flashfloods.

According to the latest forecast issued by the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting on Monday morning, water levels of the rivers in Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình were rapidly rising.

Storm recovery

Hà Nội witnessed heavy rainfall measuring over 100mm since Monday morning due to the storm. Many roads were submerged for up to 70cm, including Lý Thường Kiệt, Phan Bội Châu, Trần Hưng Đạo, Tạ Hiện and Nguyễn Trãi.

At an online conference with localities on Monday morning to discuss measures for relief in the aftermath of the storm, Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng asked authorities of localities to quickly check and assess the damage, and promptly provide assistance to affected households.

Provincial authorities were instructed to provide food and water for people in affected areas at the earliest and mobilise all available forces to help residents deal with the devastation and quickly stabilise their lives.

Chairmen of the people’s committees of localities were asked to continue checking and relocating residents in areas at high risk of flashfloods and landslides.

Relevant ministries and agencies were requested to take urgent measures to join localities in relief and rescue efforts, focusing on ensuring there was no interruption in communication and transportation activities, and to keep a close watch on the development of rain and flashfloods to ensure timely measures to deal with the consequences. — VNS

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