Mass evacuations ordered as storm nears

(VOV) - Central coastal provinces have ordered mandatory evacuations for local residents in flood-prone areas before a tropical storm makes landfall early on September 19.

At 16.00pm on September 18, the storm, the 8th of its kind to hit Vietnam this year, was 160km east of the coast of Quang Tri and Quang Nam provinces, with winds gusting 74kmh near its centre.

In the next 12 hours, the storm is forecast to move quickly at a speed of 15 kmh and pound the central coastal provinces before weakening into a tropical depression.

Reinforcing the sea dyke system in Hai Duong commune (Thua Thien - Hue province)

Thua Thien-Hue province forced 51 households in Ghenh village, Huong Tra town vulnerable to sea dyke breaching to move to safe areas.

Despite heavy rains, more than 400 local residents and border guard soldiers spent the whole day on September 18 reinforcing the sea dike system in Hai Duong commune with sand bags and large stone pieces.

The province mobilised forces to clear mud and soil that blocked a section of National Highway 49A from Hue city to A Luoi mountain district.

A big landslide caused by torrential rains disrupted traffic on the key artery road from Hue to A Luoi for many hours.

All fishing boats have been called in to avoid the storm

The Central Highland province of Kon Tum asked all residents living along streams, rivers and at the foot of mountains vulnerable to severe flooding to move to safer grounds.

It asked standby forces to develop rescue plans and work around the clock in case of emergencies.

Three missions fanned out to inspect storm prevention work in low-lying areas, especially irrigation works and dams.

Danang city allowed students to stay at home on September 19 for safety reasons. The municipal Department of Education and Training asked schools to check and reinforce facilities to minimise damage when storm hits.

Severe flooding was reported in major areas of the city, including Ly Tu Trong-Dong Da intersection, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Le Duan and Quang Trung roads.

Rising river water levels are threatening local residents living along the river banks

In Quang Nam province, rising river water levels and landslides cut off four border commune of Tay Giang district.

Up to 340cuibic metres of mud and soil also blocked traffic on Ho Chi Minh National Highway and the road leading to the administrative headquarters of Tay Giang district.

The district’s administration evacuated seven households in a number mountain communes.

A 20-year-old local resident in Tabhing commune was swept away by rising floodwaters, trying to cross the Thanh river to his home.

Heavy downpours also submerged large areas of rice and subsidiary crops in Tay Giang district.