Wednesday, September 20 2017

VietNamNews

Coastal central provinces brace for heavy storm

Update: September, 14/2017 - 10:31
All coastal provinces, especially in the central region, have scrambled to prepare for  the 10th tropical storm of the year—the strongest to hit the East Sea in three years. — Photo soha.vn

HÀ NỘI — All coastal provinces, especially in the central region, have scrambled to prepare for  the 10th tropical storm of the year—the strongest to hit the East Sea in three years.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorology Forecasting yesterday said the storm, internationally named Doksuri, was forecast to gain strength and make landfall on the  central coastal provinces from Thanh Hóa to Quảng Trị early Saturday. Its current strongest wind speed is 90 km per hour.

In Nghệ An Province, the local administration yesterday informed all vessels about the storm, mobilised all sources to supervise vessels’ voyage schedules and prepared its emergency response plans.

The province had ordered farmers to quickly harvest rice and crops and protect their aqua farms before the storm came in order to minimize damage.

The local administration also said that in some remote areas, the lack of television and radio made it difficult for the authorities to inform people about the development of the storm.

In the meantime, in Thanh Hóa Province, some 3,478 of 4,726 vessels had already found safe anchorage to avoid the storm by 2pm yesterday.

The authorities continued updating vessels on the development of the storm and alerted them about dangerous areas to ensure their safety.

Relevant agencies had checked areas with high risks of landslides and flash floods to make plans for evacuating local residents to safe places.

Urgent meeting

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc yesterday afternoon sent an urgent message to ministries and localities to direct them to prepare for the storm. Phúc said it would be a strong storm and ordered all relevant agencies to cancel all non-urgent meetings to be on full elert. 

In response to the situation, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Central Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Control Nguyễn Xuân Cường hold an urgent meeting yesterday morning to ask the localities to prepare to cope with the storm.

Cường said, “The situation now is very urgent because it is a strong storm and its impact scale could reach 500-600km.”

He required all coastal provinces from Quảng Ninh to Bình Định to ban seafaring beginning Thursday (September 14) to ensure safety for both people and vehicles.

The fishing surveillance force was told to immediately report the number of vessels on the sea and quickly inform the vessels about the dangers of the storm, he said.

The localities were told to check their reservoirs to make preparations for potential floods, he added.

Cường said the water level of Hồng (Red) River was now high while reservoirs in the north and north-central were nearly full. Major hydro-power plants’ reservoirs in the north opened six floodgates.

If torrential rains occur during the storm, the Hòa Bình Reservoir might have to open five floodgates. This could threaten the safety of local people living in the downstream area of Hồng (Red) River, he said.

Cường ordered the Việt Nam Television, the Vietnam News Agency and the Voice of Việt Nam to provide constant updates on the storm’s development so that people could actively prepare for the storm.

Major General Trương Trọng Nghĩa, chief of the National Committee for Search and Rescue’s Office, said the committee was ready to cope with the storm.

Nghĩa said the committee had sent teams to localities to co-operate with local administrations to better prepare for the storm.

Storm developments

By 7pm yesterday, the storm was at 380km to the east of Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, with the highest wind speed of 90 km per hour, said the national centre for hydro-meteorology forecasting.

The storm, moving at 15-20km, was expected to gain strength and by 4pm on Thursday reach its strongest wind speed of up to 135km per hour.

Due to the storm, torrential rains with rainfall of up to 400mm were predicted to hit the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị on Friday and Saturday. At the same time, provinces from Thanh Hóa to Quảng Ngãi would be blanketed by heavy rains with the rainfall of 300mm.

Floods were forecast to occur in river systems from Thanh Hóa Province to Quảng Ngãi Province between Friday and Sunday, the centre said.

Provinces of Hòa Bình, Sơn La, Thanh Hóa, Thừa Thiên Huế, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị were put on high alert for landslides and flash floods.

Urban areas of Hà Nội, Vinh, Hà Tĩnh, Đồng Hới and Huế were warned about inundation triggered by heavy rains, the centre said.

Seas from Thanh Hóa Province to Quảng Trị Province will have high waves up to 10 metres beginning Friday afternoon, the centre said. — VNS

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