|People in Tam Thanh Commune, Tam Kỳ City Quảng Nam Province move to a safe shelter from the incoming typhoon. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Tĩnh|
HÀ NỘI — Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly in the central region of Việt Nam, have been moved to safer places as the country braces for the arrival of super typhoon Noru.
Noru was forecast to hit the central regions Tuesday night and is said to be the most powerful storm in the past 20 years.
Under strict instructions from Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, eight central and Central Highlands localities were ordered to put safety first and make sure people living in storm-hit areas were moved.
The PM said the only priority for the country was to ensure no lives would be lost during the inclement weather.
He chaired an online meeting with the commune-, district-and provincial-level authorities of eight localities as they prepared for the storm.
Super typhoon Noru, heading to five provinces and cities of Thừa Thiên-Huế, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định, is forecast to have natural disaster risky level 4 out of 5 (extremely high risk) once it enters the East Sea and cause strong damages or even more than typhoon Xangsane in 2006.
|Residents of Đà Nẵng City trim trees before the typhoon. — VNA/VNS Photo|
According to Việt Nam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration, Typhoon Noru was expected to make landfall in central Việt Nam on Tuesday night.
It is the fourth typhoon to enter Việt Nam's East Sea this year, gaining more strength on its route with wind speeds of 118-133km per hour within 100km from the storm’s eye.
Nine out of 14 central localities in Việt Nam are forecast to be affected.
International storm forecasting centres have predicted that super typhoon Noru will be at level 13 (134-149 km per hour) winds or more and level 17 gusts when it approaches the central coastal region.
The Government said localities had instructed nearly 58,000 boats with 300,000 labourers to move to safe shelters. About 4,500 fish cages and more than 100,000 households with 400,000 people have been evacuated.
The Prime Minister requested putting people's lives protection first, focusing on protecting vulnerable groups, like the elderly, children, and the disabled.
Special attention should also be given to tourists to make sure they understand all safety instructions.
Local police and military forces have been asked to ensure security, and distribute enough food, drinks, medicine and other essential items to evacuated people.
Residents of Đà Nẵng City, except for those on front-line duties, have been asked not to go out from 8pm on Tuesday. The city’s authorities have made plans to relocate more than 80,800 residents and set up safety shelters at police stations, local libraries and schools.
About 11,000 foreign tourists and 7,000 domestic visitors are staying in the city. Local authorities have asked accommodation facilities to ensure safety for the tourists when the typhoon makes landfall in the city.
|Military officers help strengthen a kindergarten facility in Quảng Trị Province ahead of the arrival of the typhoon Noru. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Thuỷ|
Passenger boats from the mainland to Nam Du islands, Kiên Hải District and Phú Quốc City suspended operations from 6am on Tuesday until the weather is stable.
At 10am on Tuesday, Noru had its eye in the southwest of Việt Nam's Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago, about 310km from Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi coastal area and sustained winds of up to 150 - 183km per hour, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
In the following 12 - 24 hours, the typhoon will continue moving mainly westwards at some 20 - 25km per hour. Its centre at 10am on Wednesday will be on the border of Việt Nam and Laos when the strongest winds will be around 75-102km per hour.
To deal with the storm, the aviation authority for the central region has temporarily shut airports.
Airports in Đà Nẵng (Đà Nẵng City), Phú Bài (Thừa Thiên-Huế Province), Pleiku (Gia Lai Province), and Phú Cát (Bình Định Province) will suspend flights from 12 noon on Tuesday to 11:59am on Wednesday. Chu Lai Airport in Quảng Nam province will be closed from 7am on Tuesday to 6:59am on Wednesday.
Flights to and from those airports during the time will be delayed.
Others to and from the airports of Vinh (Nghệ An Province), Đồng Hới (Quảng Bình Province), Tuy Hòa (Phú Yên Province), Liên Khương (Lâm Đồng Province), and Buôn Ma Thuột (Đắk Lắk Province) will also be rescheduled.
|Boats secured at Ninh Chữ fishing port, Ninh Hải District, Ninh Thuận Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành|
Meanwhile, the Hanoi Railway Transport JSC also said it would suspend the Thống Nhất passenger trains that depart on September 27, namely SE5 from Hà Nội HCM City and SE6 from HCM City to Hà Nội, to avoid the typhoon’s impacts. — VNS