ĐÀ NẴNG/THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Ongoing heavy rains and flooding has killed 20 people in central provinces, and 14 more have been reported missing in central provinces, as the country braces for the seventh typhoon to hit this year.
The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said on Monday afternoon that the low pressure out in the north of the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) had strengthened into a typhoon internationally known as Nangka.
Nangka is forecast to make landfall in the north-central part of Việt Nam on Wednesday, while the accompanying rains could cover the central region already battered by torrential downpours over the last few days.
The centre forecast that central provinces would face heavy rains ranging from 150 to 300mm on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control issued an urgent letter on Monday asking the bureau to closely supervise the development of the low pressure system and issue warnings to localities and ships.
Ministries, sectors and localities were instructed to co-operate with and supervise boats and ships operating in danger areas, and keep in contact with their owners.
Authorities also instructed boats and ships to find safe habour and to take measures to ensure the safety of local people and tourists on islands and in coastal areas.
Aquaculture farmers should be kept informed of the development of the low pressure system, the letter said.
The Foreign Ministry was also asked to contact countries and territories to ask for shelter for Vietnamese fishermen.
The ongoing downpour, exacerbated by Typhoon Linfa which hit the central region on Sunday morning before weakening to a low pressure area, destroyed a total of 382 houses and flooded 109,034 others, and damaged 108 sections of national highways and 8.6km of provincial highways.
The disaster caused big losses to agricultural production by destroying 584ha of rice, 3,879ha of vegetable, 2,141ha of aquaculture, whilst killing about 150,700 cattle and poultry.
In Đà Nẵng, many communes were submerged by rising floods worsened by water discharged from hydropower reservoirs.
As of 7am on Monday morning, the communes of Hòa Phong, Hòa Nhơn, Hòa Liên, Hòa Khương, Hòa Châu and Hòa Tiến were badly submerged, affecting the lives of 3,000 local households in 38 hamlets.
In the mountainous districts of Hoà Vang, Liên Chiểu and Cẩm Lệ, there was high risk of flash floods and landslides.
At present, 882 households in typhoon-affected areas have been moved to safer areas.
Meanwhile, people in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế are entering their fifth day of flooding and heavy rain.
Rainfall of over 1,000mm flooded areas near the Bồ River, badly affecting to districts of Phong Điền and Quảng Điền, as well as Hương Trà Township.
Local people have been suffering from food shortages due to disrupted transport.
Hoàng Sinh, a resident of Phong Hiền Commune, told Vietnam News Agency that his family’s food reserves were running due to the prolonged rain and flooding, and they were down to a few packs of instant noodles and rice.
Trần Đức Thiện, chairman of Phong Hiền Commune, said the local government was trying to reach local households to supply food, drink and medicine.
“The floods surged rapidly and people in low-lying areas could not keep up. Water spilled into their houses submerging them up to one metre,” said Trần Văn Hoàn from Hương Trà Township.
“The whole family had to move to a neighbour's house. For several days, we only had instant noodles to survive,” said Hoàn.
“This is the worst flood since 2006. It has badly affected 70 per cent of local people,” said Phạm Công Phước, vice chairman of Quảng Thái Commune.
The provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster and Rescue reported that as of 6pm on Sunday, three people had died, while seven were injured and another was missing.
Nineteen houses had, and 53,385 houses and 360ha of crops had been flooded.
More than 100km of coastline from Hương River across Hương Thọ Commune and Hương Trà Township was severely damaged by erosion. About 300m of the dyke in Quảng Phú Commune, Quảng Điền District was also hit.
In Huế, more than 50 per cent of roads in 27 wards and 2,560 houses were flooded as of Monday morning.
In Quảng Trị Province, the flooding dramatically increased on Monday morning.
From late on Sunday night, in the upstream area of the Thạch Hãn River, 152 to 277mm fell in Đakrông District.
The downpour made the water in the Thạch Hãn and Ô Lâu rivers reach alert levels.
The river water levels were forecast to continue rising today and next days.
To cope with the situation, Quảng Trị authorities have asked the central Government to supply materials and rescue equipment, including two amphibious vehicles, 27 boats, rescue equipment and chemicals for disinfection.
The week-long rain killed six and injured two in the province, with a further six reported missing in the province.
Sections of National Highway 9, the Hồ Chí Minh Trail and main roads in the mountainous districts of Đakrông and Hướng Hoá have also been badly damaged. — VNS