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Bac Lieu Province braces for worst floods in years

Update: November, 16/2012 - 10:15

BAC LIEU (VNS)— The southern province of Bac Lieu is preparing to face the highest flood tide it has seen in 15 years.

The local hydro-meteorology forecasting centre warns that the abnormally high flood tide will hit the province between November 14 and 20, with a water level of 2.27 metres expected to be recorded at Dong Hai District's Ganh Hao Hydro-meteorology Station today.

The centre also reports that the flood tide will be further complicated by a tropical low-pressure system brewing in the East Sea.

Vo Van Dung, the Provincial Party Committee Secretary, ordered locally authorised agencies to warn farmers immediately to secure their stocks of fish and shrimp.

He also said that flood-proofing measures needed to be taken at schools, which would likely be hit by the flood tide.

Lai Thanh An, chief secretariat of the provincial Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Search and Rescue, said that the flood tide would cause significant damage to the stretch of National Highway 1A that runs through the province.

He added the province might be inundated with heavy rains caused by the tropical low-pressure system.

He warned that Dong Hai District would suffer most from the extreme conditions, and added that the flood tide might even overflow the Ganh Hao stone embankment – threatening hundreds of households.

The provincial People's Committee has banned boats from sailing since Wednesday night.

According to the latest forecast by the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, by 4pm yesterday, wind speeds were expected to reach 39-49 kmh near the epicentre of the tropical low-pressure system.

In the next 24 hours, the system would weaken and move between west and west north-west directions at a speed of 5-10 km per hour.

At 4pm today, the maximum wind speed is forecast to dip below 39 km per hour.

The system will cause rough seas and heavy rain, with a possibility of whirlwinds along the coast between the south central province of Binh Thuan and the southern province of Ca Mau.

Hoang Van Thang, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Deputy Head of National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control, led a team to the southern provinces of Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Tra Vinh yesterday to help localities make preparations for the tropical low-pressure system.

Boats situated offshore from central Da Nang City to southern Kien Giang Province have been warned to find safe shelter.

Students in the two provinces of Ben Tre and Soc Trang were allowed to stay at home yesterday due to the tropical low-pressure system.

Around 32,000 boats and 200,000 fishermen have been informed about the tropical low-pressure system so far, according to border police. — VNS

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