South central provinces prepare to face Storm ‘Pakhar’

The Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control has asked authorities in the south central provinces to prepare for evacuation of residents from the more vulnerable areas and ban all boats from heading out to sea as Storm ‘Pakhar’ readies to make landfall.

According to the Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Centre, tropical storm ‘Pakhar’ is generating gusts of level 9 with wind speeds of 75-102 kph at its eye. Moving at 5-10 kph from the East Sea, it will centre 150 km east-southeast of the south central province of Binh Thuan and the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau by today.

If its direction and speed remains unchanged, the storm may hit Binh Thuan Province by this evening, warned Le Thanh Hai, deputy chief of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Centre, calling for urgent action to cope with the oncoming storm.

Authorities from the central province of Da Nang to the Mekong delta province of Kien Giang must plan to evacuate residents and ban all boats from heading out to sea.

Deputy PM warns of abnormal early storm
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai on March 29 ordered coastal areas from the central city of Da Nang to the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang to remain vigilant ahead of an "abnormal" storm, the first to appear before April in 40 years.

Storm Pakhar, the first to hit the East Sea this year, developed itself from a tropical pressure system, said the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

At 1pm March 30, the eye of the storm was about 320km southeast of southern-central coastal provinces from Ninh Thuan to Binh Thuan, with winds gusting up to 74kph at its centre.

The storm is forecast to move west-northwest over the next 24-48 hours at 3-5kmh.

Hai also said that priority should be given to accounting for all fishing vessels, and instructing them to remain at anchor.

Authorities were told to prepare to evacuate people from high-risk areas.

Hai also noted that a cold spell forecast to hit northern and central provinces from March 30 night might complicate the situation

Border guards have instructed eight offshore vessels from the central province of Khanh Hoa to shelter in Malaysia until the storm passes.

Meanwhile, the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control sent an urgent message to local authorities and the ministries of National Defense, Transport, and Foreign Affairs.

In the message, the committee asked local agencies to keep fishermen and ship owners informed of the storm's position and development. (Source: VNA)

Government officials on the islands prohibited residents from leaving safe areas and evacuate those living in makeshift or unsafe homes.

Households located along coastal areas must relocate to safe shelters.
Moreover, local authorities of all the affected provinces with hydroelectric dams must maintain water levels, in event of heavy rainfall.

Colonel Nguyen Duc Phuc said that all concerned agencies had been mobilised to help residents prepare, and all fishing vessels are now anchored in safe areas.

Apart from that, the border force has called the Malaysian government for help, for eight fishing vessels on standby and to provide safe emergency shelters, which Malaysia has agreed to provide.

Meanwhile the Steering Board for Storm Prevention in the central province of Phu Yen said 220 fishing vessels with over 2,000 workers were still out in dangerous waters.

The border guards are continually asking them to leave the danger zones and move to safe shelters.

Affected by the storm, there has been torrential rainfall in Phu Yen Province. If the rains continue, more than 20,000 hectares of winter-fall crop will be submerged; as a result, the provincial administration has asked people to speed up harvesting their rice crop before the onset of the storm.

The south central provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan have asked all relevant agencies to be prepared to cope with the oncoming typhoon; ensure the safety of local residents; check embankments and water reservoirs; and be prepared with an evacuation plan before the storm makes landfall.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

Other news