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Storm Saudel heading toward flood-hit provinces

October 23, 2020 | 16:52

Storm Saudel is heading toward central Vietnam and flood-hit provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri.

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Houses in Ha Tinh Province are submerged under floodwater following prolonged heavy rains, October 22, 2020. Photo: VnExpress

Storm Saudel is heading toward central Vietnam and flood-hit provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri, according to Vietnamese and international weather agencies.

At 7 a.m. on October 23, it lay centered around 320 kilometers east of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands in the Bien Dong Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, with winds of up to 150 kph, the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said.

In the next 24 hours it is forecast to move west at a speed of 15 kph and lie north of the Paracel Islands at around 7 a.m. October 24 and around 240 kilometers from the coast of Ha Tinh-Quang Tri provinces by 4 a.m. on October 25. By then its winds will fall to a maximum of 90 kph.

It is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by the time it approaches the coast of Ha Tinh - Quang Tri on October 25 night, and weaken further into a low pressure area.

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Rains have stopped in Ha Tinh city but the inundation continues to persist on October 22. Photo: VNA

A US Navy notification said the storm packs winds of 145 kph and would weaken into a tropical depression on October 25. The Japan Meteorological Agency expected its wind speed to fall to 80 kph on the day.

They all forecast provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri, now reeling from prolonged heavy rains, historic flooding and deadly landslides, to be affected by the storm.

For more than two weeks the central region has suffered damage described by government officials as the worst in five years.

At least 117 people had been killed and 21 others were missing as of October 22, VnExpress reported.

Saudel is the eighth storm in the South China Sea this year, and follows Linfa and Nangka earlier this month.

Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. Last year they killed 132 people and injured 207 others.

Preparations for Storm Saudel

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Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh visits local people in Quang Trị province's Hai Dinh commune. Photo: VNA

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh on October 22 told Quang Tri province and localities in the central region to monitor the developments of Typhoon Saudel to prepare for its impacts.

The province must not be neglectful,” he said, adding that authorities should make plans to cope with the typhoon to ensure the safety of local people and their property.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to immediately dispatch sausages, ham and other necessary foods to people in flood-hit provinces in the central region.

Dung also told the Ministry of National Defence to strengthen rescue forces and vehicles, including using helicopters to transport food and emergency aid to people in the flood-hit provinces, especially those in flooded and isolated areas.

He asked local authorities in the flood-hit provinces along with ministries to continue to remedy the consequences of floods to help residents get back on their feet.

Currently, the priority was to provide food and emergency aid for people in the flooded areas, he added.

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Quang Binh military delivered food to people in the flood-hit regions. Photo: VNA

Organisations and individuals providing food and emergency aid needed to co-ordinate with local authorities to avoid concentrating assistance in some places while many people in remote areas did not receive enough attention and support, he said.

According to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Quang Binh brovince, as of October 22 morning, the weather in many localities in the province was dry, without rain, and the floodwaters receded rapidly. Many roads have been re-opened, aiding relief activities.

It is estimated that about 16,000 households who were evacuated during the floods have returned home after the floodwaters receded yesterday morning.

The floodwaters had receded about 50cm compared to the previous day, but many rural roads were not able to re-open because some locations were still flooded in Ham Ninh, Xuan Ninh and Tan Ninh communes in Quang Ninh district. The situation was the same in Le Thuy district./.

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