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Tropical depression hits south central provinces, claiming 12 lives

Update: November, 18/2018 - 22:15
Search and rescue efforts carried out at the landslide site in Phước Đồng Commune, Nha Trang City, Khánh Hoà Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Phan Sáu
Viet Nam News

KHÁNH HOÀ — Torrential downpour caused by a tropical depression hit the coastal city of Nha Trang on Sunday, resulting in multiple deaths and damage to infrastructure.

Landslides in Vĩnh Thọ, Vĩnh Trường, Vĩnh Hoà wards and Phước Đồng Commune killed 12, injured 11 and left 6 others missing.

Search and rescue workers in the city told Vietnam News Agency that the tropical depression – remnants of the weakened Typhoon Toraji –had produced total rainfall of 380mm in less than 12 hours.

With the city’s sewage system unable to handle the prolonged downpour, many parts of the city were flooded.

1,400 people living in high-risk mountainous areas in Phước Đồng Commune were moved to safer ground after four persons – including a 14-year-old child – were buried in a landslide.

In the morning, 400 soldiers and officials from various military universities based in the city were mobilised to support search and rescue agencies.

In the early morning, an international flight destined for Nha Trang was forced to land at HCM City instead due to the weather.

Heavy rainfall also hindered traffic between Nha Trang and Cam Ranh International Airport.

Võ Anh Kiệt, deputy director of the South Central Meteorology Hydrography Station (based in Nha Trang), said the rainfall had exceeded forecasts.

Another tropical depression was currently forming off the coast of the Philippines and was likely to become the ninth typhoon to enter Việt Nam’s East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea) this year, Kiệt said, adding that there was a strong possibility that the typhoon would make landfall in the south-central and southern provinces in a week.

Đào Công Thiên, vice chairman of Khánh Hoà’s People’s Committee, said the landslide-hit locations were in areas difficult to access, so victims were at risk of being isolated despite ramped up efforts by search and rescue forces.

Vice Chairman Thiên said that the People’s Committee had directed local governments to expedite support and aid for the victims.

Leaders would be held accountable before the provincial People’s Committee and Party Committee if support was delayed.

Schools would be closed today, Nha Trang’s education department said, with HCM City likely following suit depending on developments as the tropical depression had been forecast to move towards the southern city.

Widespread inundation

The south-central province of Ninh Thuận also reported rampant flooding from the depression, with Phước Nam Commune in Thuận Nam District being the hardest hit.

The inter-commune road was under half a metre of floodwater, effectively cutting off access while schools, markets, medical stations and several houses inundated.

Canoes were deployed to transport 73 households in the flooded areas to safer locations.

No casualties had been reported, however.

Early morning on Sunday, a tornado occurred in Gành Đá Đĩa (The Cliff of Stone Plates) area, a popular sightseeing site in An Ninh Đông Commune, Phú Yên Province, injuring 19 tourists from HCM City and four locals, while damaging several houses in the area.

Another tornado was also reported in Hoà Tâm Commune in Phú Yên that took down power lines and damaged many houses.

Water levels in rivers from Khánh Hoà to Ninh Thuận are on the rise, leaving more areas in the south central region at risk of flooding and landslides even when the rains have stopped. — VNS

 

 

Damage caused by a tornado in An Ninh Commune, Phú Yên Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thế Lập
Flooding in Phước Nam Commune, Thuận Nam District, Ninh Thuận Province. — VNA/VNS Photo
The aftermath of the landslide in Phước Đồng Commune as heavy rainfall caused by a tropical depression wreaked havoc across the south-central region over the weekend. — VNA/VNS Photo Phan Sáu

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