Trees downed by strong whirlwinds triggered by Podul in central Nghệ An Province on early Friday morning. Photo tuoitre.vn
HÀ NỘI — Tropical storm Podul brought heavy rains to northern and central localities after making landfall in central provinces from Hà Tĩnh to Quảng Bình early morning Friday, according to the latest report from the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre.
Average rainfall was measured between 100 and 250mm.
The centre warned of possible flash floods and landslides in these localities, particularly in Thanh Hóa and Nghệ An.
With level eight wind speeds (60-75km per hour), the storm also caused rough seas and high sea waves of two to three metres in coastal areas off Thanh Hóa to Quảng Trị provinces.
Whirlwinds triggered by the storm tore the roofs off 78 houses and uprooted many trees in Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh provinces.
The storm weakened into a depression shortly after hitting the provinces. The depression is moving west with a speed of 20km per hour and forecasted to form a low-pressure zone above the border area between Laos and Thailand on Friday afternoon.
Mai Văn Khiêm, the centre’s director, told online newspaper Zing.vn that the storm had a wide cloud-scope of hundreds of kilometres, which would cause heavy rains for different regions.
Heavy rains are forecasted to continue in northern and central provinces until Monday (September 2), particularly in Hòa Bình, Sơn La, Yên Bái and Phú Thọ. Rains are expected to reach 200-300mm.
Việt Nam’s airlines announced their plans to cancel or reschedule some flights due to the storm.
National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines cancelled five flights between Hà Nội, HCM City and Huế in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province on Thursday and changed the departure time of four flights between Hà Nội, HCM City and Vinh in Nghệ An Province on the same day.
Two more flights on the HCM City-Huế route will be added on Friday to carry those affected by Podul.
Jetstar Pacific cancelled two flights between HCM City and Đồng Hới (central Quảng Bình Province) and two flights between HCM City and Vinh on Thursday.
The budget carrier Vietjet Air has also announced cancellations on several flights to and from Đồng Hới and Huế, adding that affected passengers will be transferred to other flights when the weather improves.
Passengers travelling to and from the airports in northern and central Việt Nam are advised to stay updated on weather information and carriers’ notices so as to change their plans accordingly.
Each year, the country is hit by up to 10 tropical storms during the monsoon season between July and October.
Natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides, killed 181 people last year and left 37 others missing and caused losses of around VNĐ20 trillion (US$858 million). — VNS