|The path of the storm.—Photo nchmf.gov.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Typhoon Bebinca was bearing down on northern and central provinces yesterday and was forecast to blanket the area with torrential rains of up to 350mm.
The National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre said at 4pm yesterday, the typhoon was 350km from the north-eastern province of Quảng Ninh’s Móng Cái City, with wind speeds reaching 90km per hour.
It was moving west-southwest at 10km per hour, the centre said.
The centre forecast that the typhoon would make landfall in localities from Hải Phòng to Nghệ An by 10am on Friday.
Due to the typhoon’s influence, water levels could rise by two to four metres in the Hồng (Red) – Thái Bình river system and waters could swell by three to six metres in rivers from Thanh Hóa to Nghệ An provinces between Thursday and Saturday.
The provinces of Lai Châu, Sơn La, Hoà Bình, Yên Bái, Phú Thọ, Quảng Ninh, Lạng Sơn, Cao Bằng, Thanh Hóa and Nghệ An had been put on high alert of flash floods and landslides, while urban areas in Hà Nội, Ninh Bình, Phủ Lý, Nam Định, Hà Nam, Hưng Yên, Quảng Ninh and Hải Phòng were forecast to face inundation, the centre said.
In response to the situation, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control organised an urgent meeting yesterday afternoon to direct affected localities and relevant agencies to prepare for the typhoon.
The meeting was chaired by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development cum head of the committee Nguyễn Xuân Cường.
Cường assigned localities in Hải Phòng and Quảng Ninh to ensure the safety of dyke systems, wharves, roads and industrial parks near the coast.
All affected localities were asked to mobilised forces to help local residents to reinforce houses and evacuate high risk areas, especially Chương Mỹ District in the capital, which suffered severe inundation from the previous typhoon.
Cường also ordered coastal localities to ban vessels from going out to sea before the typhoon made landfall.
A team from the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoàng Quốc Vượng visited Hòa Bình, Sơn La, Điện Biên and Lai Châu provinces to check their preparations for the typhoon on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking at the meeting, Hoàng Đức Cường, head of the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre, said that rainfall of up to 350mm would soften the ground and cause a high risk of flash floods and landslides.
In Thái Bình Province, local authorities had informed over 1,097 offshore vessels about the typhoon’s developments by 10am yesterday.
All meetings were suspended so the administration could focus on preparing for the typhoon.
In Quảng Ninh Province, all cruise ships to Bái Tử Long Bay and Hạ Long Bay had been suspended.
In Phú Thọ Province, forces had been sent to help residents reinforce houses, dykes and reservoirs, and plans had been made to evacuate high risk areas.
In a related move, the Hòa Bình, Sơn La and Tuyên Quang reservoirs had opened their floodgates to lower water levels.—VNS