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Over 1.2 million residents to be evacuated as Storm Molave heads for central Vietnam

October 26, 2020 | 15:45

More than 1.2 million people would be evacuated as Storm Molave entered the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) in the morning of October 26 and is expected to affect seven central provinces.

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The path of the storm. Photo: National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting

More than 1.2 million people would be evacuated as Storm Molave entered the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) in the morning of October 26 and is expected to affect seven central provinces.

This is the ninth storm to enter the Bien Dong Sea so far this year, and the fourth in October, Mai Van Khiem, Director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

At around 8 a.m. on October 26, the storm lay centered around 650 km east-northeast of Southwest Cay islet, with winds of 135 kph, the centre said.

Over the next 24 hours it will move west at 20-25 kph and gradually intensify. At around 7 a.m. on October 27, it will be 270 km to the north of Southwest Cay with winds of up to 150 kph.

For the next 48 hours it will remain on course and reach the area of sea between Da Nang and Phu Yen at around 7 a.m. on October 28. It will continue to pack winds of 150 kph.

In 72 hours, moving at around 20 kph, it will make landfall between Da Nang and Phu Yen, before weakening into a tropical depression.

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Storm Molave is forecast to affect Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh provinces. Photo: Vietnamnet

At around 7 a.m. on October 27 Molave will reach southern Laos with a maximum wind speed of 50 kph.

The Japan Meteorological Agency expects Molave to strengthen as it approaches the Vietnamese coast, and have winds of up to 144 kph from 7 p.m. on October 26 to 7 a.m. on October 28, before weakening into a tropical depression by 7 a.m. on October 29.

It forecast the storm to reach Vietnamese shores at around 7 a.m. on October 28.

Tran Quang Hoai, deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said with Molave’s strength level, the committee is ready to evacuate over 1.2 million residents in seven central provinces Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urges localities to stay vigilant and take preventive measures. Photo: VnExpress

Speaking at an online meeting on October 26, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said localities must be on high alert and prepare their best flood prevention measures.

"If the storm comes as strong as forecast, damage from rains and floods will be extremely huge," Phuc said.

The leader asked forces to continue their support to central residents, evacuate those from disaster-prone areas, and consolidate local houses.

Only major meetings should be held as flood response efforts are needed at this time, he stressed. /.

From October 6-25, torrential rains and floods claimed 130 lives and left 18 missing, including those buried in a landslide at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said.
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