|Residents of the central province of Quảng Bình prepare for storm Doksuri – billed as the strongest storm to hit the East Sea in a decade. — VNA/VNS Photo Võ Dung|
HÀ NỘI — The national weather forecasting centre upgraded the Typhoon Doksuri barreling toward Việt Nam from level 11 to 12 (of 18), with winds at its eye expected to reach 150km per hour.
Doksuri, said to be the strongest typhoon in a decade, is expected to make landfall between this afternoon and evening. It will directly hit Việt Nam’s central region, including the four provinces of Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị.
The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) in its latest report at 9pm on Thursday said that the wind was at 135kph. By 7pm the same day, it was 360km off the coast of Hà Tĩnh Province to Quảng Bình Province.
The NCHMF forecast rainfall of up to 400mm for localities in Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị. Other provinces could get as much as 300mm of heavy rains. In the northern provinces of Hòa Bình and Sơn La, rainfall of 50-200mm is forecast.
The centre said floods were predicted to occur in the river systems from Thanh Hóa Province to Quảng Ngãi Province between Thursday and Sunday.
The urban areas of Vinh, Hà Tĩnh, Đồng Hới, Quảng Trị and Huế were warned about flooding triggered by heavy rains. The northern region, including the capital Hà Nội, will be hardly affected by the typhoon. It is expecting some rainfalls over the weekend, though.
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng on Thursday morning chaired an urgent online meeting directing all coastal provinces from Quảng Ninh to Khánh Hòa to prepare for Typhoon Doksuri.
It will be the 10th tropical storm to hit the East Sea (South China Sea) this year.
“It is believed to be the strongest storm hitting the East Sea during a decade,” Dũng said.
During the meeting, Dũng ordered all the localities to make specific plans strictly following the urgent message to cope with the storm, issued by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Wednesday.
“The first priority is to ensure safety for crew and vessels,” he added.
Coastal communication stations were tasked with informing all vessels about the storm so that they could find safe harbor, he said, adding that all reinforcement of sea dykes must be completed before Friday noon.
For northern mountainous provinces, Dũng asked the administrations to re-check all areas with high risk of landslides and flash floods and make plans to evacuate local residents in emergencies.
Coastal provinces in Thursday continued making preparations.
In Nghệ An Province, students are off from school until the storm passes.
In Thanh Hóa Province, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Quyền ordered authorities in mountainous areas to make plans to evacuate about 247,867 people living in areas at risk of landslides and flash floods.
Đà Nẵng City said 162 ships carrying 1,300 fishermen near Quảng Ngãi, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Nghệ An, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Archipelago of Việt Nam, had received storm warnings and were heading for safe shelters.
The city banned all operations by fishing ships on Wednesday evening, and set up emergency teams at vulnerable lowland areas in preparation for heavy rains.
Ships and cruise vessels around Chàm Island in Quảng Nam and Lý Sơn Island in Quảng Ngãi Province anchored safely at ports on Thursday. — VNS