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Provinces brace as Sơn Tinh makes landfall

Update: July, 18/2018 - 23:30
The direction of typhoon Sơn Tinh.— Photo nchmf.gov.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Typhoon Sơn Tinh – the third typhoon to hit the East Sea this year – was forecast to make landfall in provinces from Thái Bình to Quảng Bình Wednesday night with wind speeds near its eye reaching 74km per hour.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said at 10pm Wednesday that the typhoon was located at latitude 18.8 North, longitude 106.4 East, on the maritime areas of provinces from Thanh Hóa to Hà Tĩnh, and was moving west at 20-25km per hour.

In 12 hours, the storm was forecast to continue moving west and by daybreak it would have direct impact on central coastal provinces from Thái Bình to Hà Tĩnh before coming to the mainland and diminishing into a tropical depression. By 10am Thursday, the tropical depression centre is forecast to be located at latitude 18.9 North, longitude 103.5 East on the territory of Laos. 

Torrential rains with accumulation of up to 350mm were forecast to hit northern delta provinces down to localities from Thanh Hóa to Quảng Bình. The torrential rains are predicted to last until Friday.

The provinces of Hòa Bình, Sơn La, Lai Châu, Điện Biên, Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Hà Giang, Tuyên Quang, Quảng Ninh, Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình have been put on high alert of landslides and flash floods, the centre said.

Lowland and urban areas in Hải Dương, Hà Nam, Nam Định, Ninh Bình, Thái Bình, Hòa Bình, Hà Nội and Vĩnh Phúc, and from Thanh Hóa to Quảng Bình, are likely to be inundated.

The centre warned that water levels could rise by two to four metres upstream of the Hồng (Red) – Thái Bình river system and waters could swell by three to five metres in upstream rivers from Thanh Hóa to Quảng Trị by Friday.

Central-level preparedness

In response to the situation, Nguyễn Xuân Cường, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development cum head of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Wednesday morning led a team to visit two provinces of Nam Định and Thái Bình to check the localities’ activities to prepare for the typhoon.

Cường ordered the administration of the two provinces to seriously take measures to cope with the typhoon to ensure the highest safety for local residents.

Cường chaired an urgent meeting Wednesday morning to direct relevant agencies and localities to brace for the typhoon.

Statistics released at the meeting showed that nearly 52,000 ha of crop were flooded in northern and central provinces due to the typhoon. Nam Định Province reportedly suffered the most, followed by Nghệ An Province. The affected localities had operated water pumps to discharge water and save the crop.

Reservoirs in northern mountainous provinces were storing 50-70 per cent of their capacity. Reservoirs in Lào Cai and Hà Giang already stored over 90 per cent of their capacity. In the meantime, reservoirs in provinces from Thanh Hóa to Thừa Thiên Huế stored about 50-65 per cent of their capacity.

According to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Sơn La Reservoir already opened a floodgate and Hòa Bình Reservoir opened three floodgates to bring down their water level.

Due to torrential rains over the last few days, the sea dyke No 5 in Thái Bình Province was damaged in five places. The local authority was urgently repairing it.

Colonel Trần Dương Kiên from the Border Guard Command said that by 6am Wednesday, over 56,500 vessels of localities from Quảng Ninh to Quảng Bình were told about the typhoon developments and instructed to actively seek safe shelters.

Localities’ responses

Localities that are predicted to be affected by the typhoon quickly finished their preparedness work Wednesday.

In Nam Định Province, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phạm Đình Nghị banned all vessels from going to the sea starting 5am Wednesday.

“The move aims to ensure the highest safety for our residents,” Nghị said.

Police and soldiers were mobilised to help local residents in reinforcing houses and construction sites. All activities on beaches were also suspended to ensure safety for tourists, he said.

Mai Văn Ruyến, owner of a fishing vessel in Hải Hòa Commune, said that after he was told about the typhoon development, he quickly navigated his vessel to Ninh Cơ Fishing Port to avoid the typhoon.

Additionally, the province already stored materials to fix its dyke system if any incident occurs.

In Phú Thọ Province, the localities had evacuated local residents living in areas at high risks of landslide and flash flood to a safe place. Rescue forces and measures to deal with emergencies were ready. — VNS

Vessels anchor at a boat lock in the central province of Hà Tĩnh’s Thạch Kim Commune. — VNA/VNS Photo Công Tường

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