Three dead in Binh Thuan as tropical depression makes landfall

The tropical low pressure system which made landfall over the region between Binh Thuan and Soc Trang Provinces January 20 has claimed three lives in Binh Thuan and sunk 68 fishing boats.

The low pressure system which made landfall over south-central Vietnam January 20 killing three people and sinking dozens of boats (Photo: national weather bureau)

The three victims were swept away by strong waves while rowing their coracles to find shelter.

The Binh Thuan Province Committee for Flood and Storm Preparedness said the system caused heavy rains and winds of up to level 7 – or speeds of 50-61 kilometers an hour – for 24 hours from the afternoon of January 19.

Around 10 ships that were preparing to transport passengers and food from Phan Thiet City to Phu Quy Island remained stuck in Phan Thiet.

Also in the town, high tides battered Duc Long Ward for several days and swept away two houses into the sea.

Preliminary estimates put Binh Thuan’s losses at VND4.5 billion (US$243,000).

In the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, the system caused heavy rains and strong winds in many areas.

In Di Linh District, level 6 winds -- or under 39 kilometers an hour -- caused a power outage in Gia Bac Commune, blew away the roofs of many homes, and felled trees.

Schools were closed on January 20.

In Da Lat, strong winds uprooted many trees, mainly pine, which blocked Yen The and Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Streets.

The Southern Regional Hydro-Meteorological Center said the system has weakened into a low pressure zone after making landfall at around 4pm on the 20th.

It lies centered on the Vietnam-Cambodia border with the strongest winds near its eye declining to level 6.

The region between Binh Thuan and Soc Trang will experience strong winds and medium to heavy rains.

The system would weaken and dissipate by the 21st, the center said.

Meanwhile, a cold front has been moving from China into northern Vietnam, it said, and would cause medium to heavy rainfall in northern and north-central provinces.

The mercury is expected to fall to 11-13 degrees Celsius, and 10 degrees in some mountainous regions.

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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