Heavy rain floods many houses in Thanh Chương District, Nghệ An Province on Friday. — VNA/VNS Photo Tá Chuyên
HÀ NỘI — Storm Molave, which has killed at least 24 people in central coastal provinces in recent days according to disaster agencies, flooded many localities in Nghệ An Province on Friday.
In the province's Vinh City, many roads and residential areas have been flooded, with some areas in 1m deep water and local rescue forces faced many obstacles in accessing flooded places to take people to safety.
Thanh Chương District was the most severely affected with most of its communes divided by floods.
Several houses were submerged to the roof due to rain and floods and vehicles could not travel due to landslides in many spots along the route from Vinh City to the district.
Provincial and local authorities went to the scene to direct the relocation of residents living in flooded areas and provide life vests and food for isolated households.
During Thursday night and Friday morning, more than 800 households were relocated to safe places.
In Hà Tĩnh Province, winds Friday morning swept through Yên Điềm Village, blowing away the roofs of dozens of houses in Thịnh Lộc Commune, said Trần Văn Nghĩa, chairman of Thịnh Lộc Commune People's Committee, Lộc Hà District.
Local government, police, soldiers and residents have been helping affected families repair houses but they face difficulties due to heavy rains and the strong wind.
At present, many downstream areas are deeply flooded and isolated due to heavy rains and water discharged from hydropower reservoirs.
Deputy Director of the National Centre for Meteorological and Hydrological Forecasting Vũ Đức Long said due to the strengthening cold air, provinces from Thanh Hóa to Quảng Bình are expected to experience rainfall from 100-200mm, or even more than 300, particularly in Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh provinces from October 30-31.
He said that around 9am Friday, the water level on the Ngàn Sâu River, Hà Tĩnh Province, reached 8m, 0.5m higher than alarm level 1.
The water level in other local rivers is also predicted to rise and flash floods and landslides are likely to continue in central provinces.
The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control also sent an urgent dispatch to the Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue in Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh provinces to request the two provinces closely monitor the development of the weather and ensure the safety of dyke systems as water levels in rivers rise.
Local authorities and forces need to have a plan to evacuate people and property.
Speaking at a meeting on Friday in Hà Nội, deputy director of the Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Nguyễn Văn Tiến requested forces co-ordinate with local authorities to find people missing after landslides in Quảng Nam Province and on two fishing vessels of Bình Định Province.
Provinces and cities impacted by the storm must check damaged households, promptly provide food, inspect reservoirs to ensure safety and relocate people living in areas with a high risk of flash floods, landslides, low lying areas, along rivers and downstream of reservoirs to safety.
Brigade 270 staff of Military Region 5 on Friday search for missing people at the landslide site in Trà Leng Commune, Nam Trà My District. — VNA/VNS Photo Đoàn Hữu Trung
In Quảng Nam Province, landslides hindered rescue forces from searching for missing people who went missing after a landslide on Wednesday in Phước Sơn District.
Nguyễn Mạnh Hà, head of the Frontline Steering Committee for Search and Rescue Front, Quảng Nam Province, said rescue forces faced many difficulties as the water level in streams rose to 3-4m.
On Thursday, the forces tried to gain access to the site but they were still about 45km from it.
He requested the military use helicopters to take part in the rescue work.
Hà said all upland roads in Phước Sơn District have been eroded in many spots and people in isolated areas are likely to face serious food shortages.
The local government is setting up a plan to provide food for Phước Lộc and Phước Thành communes as their provisions were swept away.
Specialised equipment and sniffer dogs have been mobilised to search for victims of the landslide in Nam Trà My District’s Trà Leng Commune, Quảng Nam Province.
According to vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hồ Quảng Bửu, at 2pm on Thursday, the rescue force approached Trà Leng Commune’s village 1, where a landslide buried and injured many local residents.
Thirty-three people were rescued while the bodies of six people were recovered, he said, adding rescue operations are still ongoing to search for the remaining 14.
Bửu said a landslide in Trà Vân Commune left 12 people injured and eight dead.
The injured victims are getting treatment at the district hospital.
Local authorities visited and provided initial support of VNĐ2 million to the family of each victim.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health set up seven working groups to help address post-flooding environmental issues, promote disease prevention and offer nutrition consultation to seven central provinces which were hit by recent storms and floods.
The groups will work in Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên - Huế, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi and Bình Định provinces.
They will work to assess the risk of infectious diseases and the response capacity of the local health system and examine, supervise and support local medical workers and people in taking measures to tackle environmental issues, spraying insecticides, and sterilising water containers.
Nutrition consultation will be provided to local people, especially pregnant women, young children and the elderly. — VNS