Fierce storm forecast to hit central region

Strong storm Ketsana is heading towards central Vietnam after roaring through the Philippines Sunday, leaving more than 80 people dead and dozens missing.

The storm, packing winds likely up to levels 14 or 15, is forecast to make landfall on provinces from Quang Tri to Danang, according to the national weather bureau.

Direction of Storm Ketsana forecast by Vietnam’s national weather bureau

Storm Ketsana, the ninth Vietnam faces this year, is moving northwest at a speed of some 20 kilometers per hour, the weather bureau said. It can affect other provinces including those situated on the coast in the northern region, warning the provinces of downpours, rough seas and floods.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Sep. 27 sent a notice of preparedness to the provinces and ministries and government agencies.

The Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Preparedness the same day sent an urgent notice to provinces from Thanh Hoa to Quang Ngai, asking provincial authorities to prepare to evacuate the locals out of risk areas.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is required to send working teams to the provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. The Ministry of National Defense is asked to send working teams to Quang Binh and Ha Tinh provinces for preparedness.

According to the central region’s weather bureau, the storm would hit Danang and neighboring Thua Thien-Hue province late Sep. 29 till early Sep. 30, packing fierce winds up to levels 12, 13, event to 15.

Late Sep. 27, the People’s Committee of Danang convened an urgent meeting to discuss measures to cope with the ninth storm. Danang plans to evacuate about 150,000 people out of risk areas.

Danang City residents on the central coast move a boat to shelter on Sep. 27 (Photo: SGGP)

By 5pm of Sep. 26, flash floods killed six people, left three others missing and caused severe injuries to two people in the northern central province of Thanh Hoa, according to provincial officials.

The floods, triggered by torrential rains that have occurred consecutively from Sep. 24 through 26, also inundated 5,500 households and damaged more than 11,000 ha of rice and subsidiary crops, and caused the traffic in and from the province stranded.

Elsewhere in the central region, floods and rains also submerged over 2,400 hectares of rice and nearly 5,900 hectares of farm produce in the affected provinces, while nearly 9,700 houses and 23 boats were damaged, said the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Preparedness.

By staff writers, combined by Khanh Minh

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