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Saudel triggers downpours in central Vietnam, new storm coming

October 26, 2020 | 08:12

While storm Saudel is causing heavy rains in the central provinces from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue, another named Molave is forecast to enter the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) on October 26.

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Strong winds over a flooded area in Quang Binh province due to impacts of Storm Saudel, October 25, 2020. Photo: VnExpress

While storm Saudel is causing heavy rains in the central provinces from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue, another named Molave is forecast to enter the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) on October 26 and affect the central region in the days to come.

Storm Saudel devolved into a tropical depression October 25 afternoon upon approaching central Vietnam.

At 4 p.m. the tropical depression’s centre was right off the coast of central Vietnam with maximum wind speeds of 50 kph, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The depression was forecast to move west in the next 12 hours at a speed of 20 kph and make landfall from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri, which have already been suffering deadly flooding and landslides for several weeks.

On October 25 afternoon, seas off the coast of provinces from Quang Tri to Thua Thien-Hue saw waves rising as high as three meters.

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The depression was forecast to move west in the next 12 hours at a speed of 20 kph and make landfall from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri, which have already been suffering deadly flooding and landslides for several weeks. Photo: Vietnamnet

The tropical depression will drench central provinces from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue with rainfall of up to 200 mm on October 26, meteorologists had said. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

In Ha Tinh, one of the hardest hit localities by the historic flooding of previous weeks, hundreds of fishing boats flocked to shelter October 25 onwards. Local residents also reinforced their houses, and placed sand bags on their roofs to prevent strong winds from blowing them off.

In Quang Binh, more than 700 families living in the areas said to be at high risk of landslides were evacuated. Authorities in Quang Tri mobilized forces to help local residents load sand bags onto their roof, and reinforce dikes with sandbags and gabions.

Expectations of heavy rains prompted authorities in Thua Thien-Hue province to temporarily suspend search operations for 12 workers buried by a deadly landslide near a construction site at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant two weeks ago.

To ensure safety, more than 100 members of the search and rescue mission left the hydropower plant site on October 25 afternoon, VnExpress reported.

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Soldiers clean up a primary school in Le Thuy district, the central province of Quang Binh, on October 24 after floodwater receded. Photo: VNA

Meanwhile, Director of the forecasting centre Mai Van Khiem said Molave is a strong storm that will move fast and may enter the Bien Dong Sea on October 26.

From October 27 to 29, it is predicted to trigger downpours, with rainfalls of 200 - 350mm, in the central region, which has already been hit hard by floods recently.

Combined with the cold spell from the north, it may lead to prolonged rains in northern and central areas of this region, even more than 500mm in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, and Quang Binh.

Khiem warned about very high risks of flash floods and landslides in mountainous areas there on the following days, recommending the localities keep a close watch on this storm’s development to gear up for it, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

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The path of Storm Molave. Photo: Vietnamnet

At 1pm of October 25, the centre of Molave was about 230km to the east of the Philippines’ central coast and had winds of up to 90 - 100km per hour in its eye wall.

In the next 24 hours, it will move westwards at some 20km per hour, enter the Bien Dong Sea, and continue to intensify. At 1pm of October 26, its eye will be on the central Philippines with the fastest winds of 100 - 115km per hour.

The storm will keep moving mainly westwards in the following 24 - 48 hours and to west-northwest between the next 48 and 72 hours.

At 1pm of October 28, its centre is expected to be on the sea area off the coast of the localities from Da Nang city to Phu Yen province. Its strongest winds at that time may be 100 - 135km per hour, according to the forecasting centre./.

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