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Vietnam's central provinces brace for fierce storm

Boats anchored at Cua Viet Beach in central Quang Tri Province's Gio Linh District take shelter from a tropical storm forecast to hit the central coast today. Ho Cau/Viet Nam News

Publication Date : 06-10-2012


Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai yesterday scrambled a team to central Binh Dinh Province to make urgent preparations for the Gaemi Tropical Storm predicted to strike the area today.

Gaemi, the seventh storm this year, is forecast to get stronger with a projected wind speed of 102 kilometres per hour. It will quickly move west-southwest coming in-land today at the latest after changing direction several times during the past 24 hours.

The coastal central provinces of central Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Quang Ngai will be directly hit by the storm and flooding is a growing concern. Heavy constant downpours of up to 200mm are expected in the first 24 hours, striking central regions from Quang Binh to Khanh Hoa provinces and the Central Highland region.

The wet weather is expected to last for at least three days.

Hai ordered the newly-established steering committee to localise storm-prone areas and take timely preventative measures.

He stressed the high risk of flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain, urging local authorities to pay attention to the reservoirs of hydro-power plants in slope areas such as the Central Highlands, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.

Another team was mobilised to Song Tranh 2 Hydro-power Plant to monitor the safety of its dam. Around 52 earthquakes have struck the area in the past year, posing a risk of breaching the dam and causing serious flash floods to hundreds of residents living nearby.

By yesterday night, border soldiers had warned 50,256 vessels in the sea of the progress of the storm and no losses had been reported. Most coastal central provinces have banned ships from sailing out to the sea.

The Central Highland provinces and northern regions, including Hanoi, will also experience rainfall. After hitting the central region, the storm will move west-southwest and weaken into a low pressure system.

Figures from the General Statistics Office show that in the past nine months, 229 people have died or were missing due to natural disasters. More than 2,200 houses have totally collapsed and 53,700 others have been damaged, while 153,700 hectares of rice and 39,100 hectares of subsidiary crops have also been destroyed.

Total losses are estimated to total 3.2 trillion Vietnam dong (US$153 million).

Nghe An has been the worst-hit province with 12 people dead or missing. The province's damage total was 850 billion dong, accounting for 27 per cent of the nation's losses.

The government, relevant authorities, organisations and individuals have contributed 7.8 billion dong to help victims stabilise their lives.

US$1 = 20,885 Vietnam dong


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