People are relocated to Can Thanh School in Can Thanh Town, HCM City’s Can Gio District to avoid Typhoon Tembin. The storm is forecast to land in the coastal area from Ba Ria-Vung Tau to Ca Mau provinces early today. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh
HÀ NỘI — More than 1.1 million people in 15 provinces and cities in the south of Việt Nam have been evacuated to safety as Typhoon Tembin approaches, with the storm forecast to land in the coastal area from Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu to Cà Mau provinces early today.
The Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue and the Border Guard Command provided information on the storm’s movements to more than 69,000 vehicles.
The storm is moving west at a speed of 15-20km per hour and is forecast to be off the waters of Trà Vinh to Cà Mau at about 7am today. Wind speeds hit 75-90km per hour, according to the National Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre.
The storm is projected to keep moving west for the next 12-24 hours and gradually weaken into a tropical depression. The eye of the depression is forecast to be off the Gulf of Thailand at 7pm today.
The typhoon has already affected some localities which have experienced rains up to 50mm from yesterday evening.
The centre also warned of flash floods and landslides in some areas from Quảng Ngãi to Bình Thuận, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and Kiên Giang due to heavy rains and rising seawater.
Localities in the south have taken various measures to prepare for the storm.
Côn Đảo District and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province have called for all vessels operating in Côn Đảo’s waters to return to safety. All tourists on the island have been evacuated to shelters.
Nguyễn Văn Dũng, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Côn Đảo District, said the province has instructed forces to call on fishermen to return to storm shelters.
The Mekong Delta province of Sóc Trăng has evacuated more than 30,000 people to safe places while calling for nearly 1,200 vessels operating offshore to find shelter.
The province’s leaders have directed agencies, forces and households to speed up the harvest of shrimp and rice to avoid storm damage.
Tiền Giang Province also evacuated nearly 35,000 people in high risks areas to safer places. Thousands of soldiers were mobilised to strengthen the dyke system and houses.
Many localities have allowed pupils to stay home from schools and industrial zone workers to be off work.
Deputy PM inspects typhoon preparedness
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng yesterday visited Sóc Trăng to inspect preparations for Typhoon Tembin.
In Trần Đề district and Vĩnh Châu township, the Deputy PM visited a dock where 600 ships are sheltering from the storm and several storm shelters for people in Vĩnh Châu township.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Trần Văn Chuyện told the Deputy PM that the province has mobilised all resources to minimise losses, adding the evacuation work was fulfilled on December 24, with 27,000 people moving to schools and agencies’ headquarters.
Later the same day, Deputy PM Dũng also visited Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau provinces to inspect their preparedness, dyke systems and evacuation plan.
The same day, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường, also head of the Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, led a working delegation to inspect preparedness for the storm in Khánh Hội area, U Minh district, in Cà Mau Province.
Cường then met with authorities of neighbouring Kiên Giang Province about its work to cope with Tembin, the 16th storm to hit the East Sea this year.
Many flights cancelled
Vietnam Airlines and several other carriers have cancelled or adjusted the schedule of many flights to and from areas to be affected by typhoon Tembin.
The national flag carrier cancelled all flights from 12:40 to 20:30 yesterday on routes between Hà Nội/HCM City and Phú Quốc in the southern province of Kiên Giang, and between Hà Nội and the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ.
Passengers affected by the cancellations will be arranged to fly on the next day.
Meanwhile, the schedule of flights from 15:00 to 23:00 yesterday will be adjusted according to the latest reports on Tembin, and will be updated frequently on Vietnam Airlines’ website and Facebook.
Jetstar Pacific will adjust its flights to and from Tân Sơn Nhất Airport in HCM City and Phú Quốc Island depending on the movement of the typhoon.
Due to the changes, a number of domestic flights are expected to be delayed. Passengers can get information on the carriers’ official websites or Facebook, as well as ticket offices. — VNS