After moving slowly and constantly changing direction over the East Sea in the last few days, the year’s first storm began to speed towards Luzon Island in the Philippines on the morning of May 6.
|Chart shows the direction of storm Chanhom|
Vietnam’s national weather bureau said that by the morning of May 7, Storm Chanhom lay centered 360km off Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, has strengthened, and continues to move towards Luzon.
By the afternoon of the 7th, it is expected to be 320km to the west of the island.
Its strongest winds, near the eye, measures level 11 to 12, or around 103-133km per hour. From the center, a radius of 120 kilometers will have winds of up to level 10.
The sea between Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands in the East Sea will remain dangerous today with winds of level 10.
The Central Committee on Flood and Storm Control and the National Committee for Search and Rescue have told Khanh Hoa Province and related agencies to prohibit boats from going out to sea.
The central region's Dyke Management, Flood and Storm Control Department said by the afternoon of May 6, all provinces from Da Nang to Khanh Hoa had contacted most boats out at sea to warn them about the storm and guide them to safety.
But hundreds of boats with 2,000 fishermen on board are out in the path of the storm.
Khanh Hoa Province has six boats with 62 men on board and Binh Dinh has 198 boats with 1,784 men in the area near the Spratlys.
Phu Yen has 42 boats and 420 people while Quang Ngai has 53 boats and 1,108 people near the Spratlys and 17 boats and 221 people near the Paracels.
The defending army in the central region has kept contact and guided many vessels to safe places and is on alert to cope with the storm.
On the afternoon of the 6th a fishing boat belonging to Bui Van Nhan of Ly Son District, Quang Ngai Province, was battered and overturned off the Paracel Islands.
The boat owner told the defending army that two-thirds of the boat is underwater.
Two of the 11 fishermen on board have rowed a coracle to a nearby island to look for help while the other nine are clinging to the boat.
|PM calls for high alert during storm season|
With the storm season beginning, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered ministries and agencies in provinces and cities to strengthen flood and storm control measures.
He told them to mobilize equipment, transportation, food, and medicine to deliver to villages and communes, especially those that are usually cut off during storms.
They should also ensure the safety of reservoirs and draft comprehensive rescue plans in case of a disaster, he said.
Mountainous provinces should set up warning systems against flash floods and landslides, install communication facilities in villages to make warnings, and deploy emergency rescue systems.