Typhoon Melor nears Viet Nam's East Sea

Update: December, 17/2015 - 09:00
The central province of Thua Thien-Hue's police force participates at a flood and storm-prevention and rescue drill. Typhoon Melor is predicted to bring strong winds, 3m to 4m high waves and rough seas in the eastern part of the East Sea. The Central and Central Highlands Flood and Storm Prevention Centre says all fishing vessels in central provinces know about the storm forecast and warnings, and are moving to safer areas. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuong Vi

HA NOI (VNS) — Typhoon Melor yesterday entered the East Sea to become the fifth storm impacting Viet Nam so far this year, after traversing the central Philippines, said the National Centre for Hydrometereological Forecasting.

At 10pm yesterday, typhoon Melor's centre was about 670km northeast of Song Tu Tay island of Viet Nam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago. Wind speed near the centre was up to 60-90 km per hour.

It is forecast to move southwest at a speed of 15km per hour in the next 24 hours.

By 10pm today, its centre will be 440 km east-northeast of Song Tu Tay island with a maximum wind speed near the centre of about 60-75 km per hour. It is predicted to bring strong winds, 3m to 4m high waves and rough seas in the eastern part of the East Sea.

The Central and Central Highlands Flood and Storm Prevention Centre said all fishing vessels in Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, besides Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan knew about the storm forecast and warnings, and were moving to safer areas.

The Binh Dinh provincial centre for disaster prevention, search and rescue centre had asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact the Philippines about getting permission for the docking of two fishing vessels.

About 10mm of rainfall was measured in provinces extending from Quang Binh to Binh Dinh between Tuesday and Wednesday.

There has been little change in the water levels of the rivers flowing from Quang Binh to Ninh Thuan.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention yesterday asked localities to keep watch on the storm and request ships operating in dangerous areas move to safety, an official said.

Tang Quoc Chinh, deputy chief of office of the committee said at a meeting held yesterday morning in Ha Noi to discuss measures to cope with the storm, that the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a diplomatic note to the embassies of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia in Viet Nam.

In a note, embassies were asked to inform their relevant agencies about typhoon Melor and to help Vietnamese fishing boats and fishermen to find shelter from the storm, he said.

Drought in the south

Although the dry season has started, many areas in south-eastern region have faced with prolong drought which would affect the lives of local farmers.

Due to El Nino, the rainy season in southern Binh Phuoc Province came late and finished early than usual. The water level at the province's reservoirs was lowered than average by between 1.5 and 3m as a result of low level of rain.

Hot weather and drought are expected to hit the province in the 2015-2016 dry season, with the highest temperature may reach 41 degree Celsius, according to forecasts from Binh Phuoc Hydro-meteorology Centre.

Many areas of HCM City and Tay Ninh Province were at risk of lacking water for agricultural production as a result of low water storage at Dau Tieng Reservoir. The water level at the reservoir was measured at 22.4m last month, a reduction of 2.15m compared with the same period last year.

Nguyen Van Tram, chairman of Binh Phuoc Province's People' Committee, said the provincial agriculture department has instructed localities and irrigation management units to take measures to deal with drought in 2015-2016 dry season.

Le Hoang Quan, chairman of HCM City People's Committee has recently ordered relevant agencies to concentrate on water storage and take preparation for anti-drought activities.

Authorities of southern provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Tay Ninh have also issued measures to cope with persistent drought in the dry season as well as called on farmers to change to crops that require less water.

Some localities in south central coast region had to stop 2015-2016 winter-spring crops due to serious water shortage. Phu Yen Province was expected to cease cultivation 170ha of rice and Ninh Thuan Province was expected to stop growing 5,800ha of rice and other crops. Khanh Hoa Province planned to switch from more than 4,200ha of rice crops to other crops. — VNS