HÀ NỘI — Local authorities must keep a close watch on the weather and prepare for the worst as two tropical depressions are heading towards Việt Nam, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường.
According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecast, at 7am yesterday, the location of a tropical depression on the East Sea was at about 15.9 degrees of north latitude and 107.5 degrees of east longitude on mainland from the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế to the northern province of Quảng Ninh.
The strongest wind near the depression’s centre was estimated at 40-50km per hour with gusts at registered at level eight.
The second depression, also formed on East Sea, was located at about 17.7 degrees of north latitude and 112.0 degrees of east longitude, 100km north away from Hoàng Sa (Paracels) archipelago.
The area on Tokin Gulf and seas from Quảng Trị and Quảng Ngãi provinces would face strong winds, high tide and rough seas today.
The depression would return to the East Sea and might be stronger and turn into a storm, the centre said.
Today, the provinces of Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Thừa Thiên-Huế had been suffering heavy rains with rainfall measured between 150 to 224mm.
In a meeting with Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention yesterday morning, Minister Cường asked ministries, local authorities and relevant agencies to implement the committee’s instructions on natural calamity prevention.
The National Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecast was asked to inform local governments, media and people so as to prepare as the weather develops.
Border soldiers should co-operate with fishery patrol force to check and ask fishing vessels to anchor in safe habours.
Cường also said reservoirs and dikes should be closely monitored, especially in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, where heavy rain was forecast this week.
The local governments should be alert to flash floods and landslides.
Trần Quang Hoài, deputy head of Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said the central province would have heavy rain until the end of this week so the local police had to set up measures to ensure traffic safety, especially as the new school year starts tomorrow.
Due to the impact of the tropical depression, in recent days, Quảng Bình Province’s Minh Hoá District had heavy rain which caused river water high and flood in many places.
One person, Hồ Thị Chăn, a 30-year-old woman from the ethnic minority village of Pa Choong, was swept away when Chăn and her children went fishing.
Search has been conducted along the stream and Gianh River but she remained missing.
Floods in the district have also left many areas isolated.
On Monday night, a fishing vessel owned by Nguyễn Thanh Lương in Đồng Hới City sank by high tide.
Meanwhile, heavy rain also causes high water levels in rivers, flooded streets and caused landslides in Quảng Trị Province.
Many areas of Hướng Hoá and Đakrông districts were isolated by the floods with many locals evacuated to safer areas.
On Monday, a whirlwind occurred in Triệu Trạch Commune of Triệu Phong District blowing rooves from many houses but fortunately no fatalities were recorded.
The tropical depression also caused heavy rain in Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh Province, flooding streets and making road conditions treacherous.
There was serious traffic congestion in many streets in Nghệ An Province’s Vinh City.
In Hà Tĩnh Province, water levels in key reservoirs reached risky levels – Ngàn Châu at Chu Lễ station reported 11.13m, for example – and they are expected to rise even more in the following days.
Due to heavy rain, Hố Hô Hydropower plant had to discharge water from the reservoir which flooded and isolated Phương Điền and Phương Mỹ communes, said Lê Quang Vinh, head of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Hương Khê District.
More than 97ha of rice and 72ha of other crops were destroyed by the heavy rain, while electricity lines were felled.
Losses have been estimated at VNĐ950 million (US$41,000). — VNS