Preparing to evacuate half a million people as Storm Noul to hit Vietnam

Around half a million people, especially those living in mountainous areas, will be evacuated before Storm Noul makes landfall in the coming days, VOV reported, citing Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung.
September 17, 2020 | 06:50
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Half a million evacuate as storm noul to hit vietnam friday afternoon
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung requests detailed plans to cope with powerful storm Noul which is expected to barter central coastal provinces September 18. Photo: VOV

At an urgent meeting with relevant ministries and localities on September 16, Dung requested localities to exercise the utmost caution to cope with Noul which is heading toward Vietnam.

Noul, which formed in the Bien Dong Sea on September 15, is forecast to barter central coastal provinces spanning from Quang Binh to Da Nang on September 18.

The storm is moving west-northwest, holding gusts of more than 100kph near its centre. It is forecast to gain further strength when it makes landfall.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the eye of the tropical storm lay around 680 km to the southeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands off the central coast, packing winds of 70 kph.

“Localities must be on high alert as this powerful storm is expected to make landfall at the height of high tides,” Dung told the meeting. “You must formulate detailed plans to evacuate and relocate people to be affected, with a primary focus on those living in coastal areas, river estuaries, and areas vulnerable to flashfloods and landslides.”

According to Dung, as many as 500,000 people, especially those living in mountainous areas, are likely to be affected and evacuated before the storm makes landfall.

Top priority will be given to protecting local people’s lives, he stressed.

Deputy PM asked relevant ministries and localities to make specific plans to protect public works, tourist sites, economic zones, industrial parks, factories, warehouses, and works under construction.

He also assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to monitor and actively contact regional countries to support Vietnamese fishermen and fishing vessels to ensure their safety, and provide search and rescue services if necessary.

Vietnam prepares to evacuate half a million people as Storm Noul to hit Vietnam Friday afternoon
Storm Noul is forecast to make landfall on Friday afternoon in central provinces.

According to Mai Van Khiem, director of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the storm is forecast to make landfall on Friday afternoon in central provinces from Quang Binh to Da Nang, home to popular tourism hotspots including Son Doong Cave, Hoi An and Hue, packing a maximum wind speed of 135 kph, according to the government news portal, reported Vnexpress.

Weather forecasting centers in the US, Japan, and Hong Kong (China) predict the storm would make landfall on the central coast Friday afternoon with a maximum speed of 130 kph.

Due to the impact of Storm Noul, northern and central localities should expect heavy rains of up to 300 mm a day. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

From Thursday afternoon to Friday, central provinces from Quang Tri to Thua Thien-Hue would be hit by heavy rains of 300-400 mm a day. Mountainous areas could be affected by landslides while urban areas face heavy flooding.

Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, and Da Nang City would be heavily affected by the storm, Khiem added.

Storm Noul is the fifth formed this year in the Bien Dong Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea./.

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