Provinces and cities asked to strengthen measures ahead of storm Molave

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Fishing boats in Đà Nẵng City are brought inland to avoid storm Molave. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Lê Lâm

HÀ NỘI — Deputy chief of the office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Nguyễn Văn Tiến on Tuesday requested coastal localities to urgently guide fishing vessels which are still operating at sea to shelter.

The committee issued the order at a meeting yesterday to prepare for tropical storm Molave, the ninth storm to hit the country this year.

Localities were asked to assign officers to check anchorages and evacuate people in dangerous areas.

The provinces and cities affected by the storm need to implement plans to ensure safety for people on islands, oil and gas rigs and offshore and coastal exploitation activities; rescue ships and boats in case of incidents.

The localities on the mainland are evacuating people in coastal areas, low-lying areas, tourist areas and areas at risk of landslides.

Infrastructure and public buildings need protection to withstand high winds and heavy rain.

Students should be allowed to stay at home.

Localities also need to prepare essential food and necessities to deal with the prolonged impact of the storm.

Provinces and cities need to implement measures to ensure the safety of electricity systems, communication, traffic safety and arrange forces to be ready for rescue work and evacuations. They were also required to check irrigation and hydroelectric reservoirs; ensure safety of dams and reservoirs in downstream areas, especially in emergency cases of water discharge as well as the safety of construction sites; send messages to subscribers and promptly inform all people in the affected areas to prepare.

Provinces and cities from Thừa Thiên-Huế to Phú Yên have reviewed and prepared plans to evacuate people before the storm.

The total number of people expected to be evacuated is 146,866 households with 571,746 people and the evacuation was expected to complete before 7pm Tuesday.

On Tuesday, border guards informed 229,290 people on 45,009 vessels about the storm and instructed them to keep away from affected areas.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also decided to establish a steering committee in Đà Nẵng City to proactively respond to storm Molave.

The committee is directly responsible for directing, inspecting and urging agencies and localities to effectively respond to the storm, in order to minimise damage, regularly update the situation and report to the Prime Minister.

According to the National Center for Hydrometeorology Forecast, storm Molave is moving west-northwest at a speed of 20-25km per hour and is forecast to gain strength.

By 7am Wednesday, the eye of the storm is forecast to be between Đà Nẵng and Phú Yên, with wind speeds gusting up to 183km per hour.

The storm is predicted to continue moving west-northwest at a speed of 25kph and go inland from Đà Nẵng to Phú Yên.

It is expected to weaken into a tropical depression and low-pressure zone in the southern mainland region of Thailand.

From noon on October 27, the wind is expected to be at force 9-11 and will increase to 12-13, with wind speeds gusting up to 183km per hour offshore of Đà Nẵng to Phú Yên.

Sea levels were also expected to rise by 6-8m offshore from Đà Nẵng to Phú Yên including Lý Sơn Island District from the afternoon of October 27.

The southern part of Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh provinces will brace for heavy rainfall of 500-700mm.

The Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum and Gia Lai are also set for unsettled weather conditions with sustained winds of force 10.

From the night of October 27 to October 29, Thừa Thiên-Huế to Phú Yên is expected to see heavy rainfall of 200-400 mm and 100-200mm in northern central Highlands.

The period of heavy rain could cause deep and fast-flowing floods in low-lying areas, river mouths and lagoons in the coastal provinces from Thừa Thiên-Huế to Quảng Ngãi.

To cope with the storm, Phú Yên Province has banned residents from fishing from 9am on October 27. Fishing boats were required to take shelter.

Students are allowed to stay at home on October 28, according to deputy director of the provincial Department of Education and Training, Trần Khắc Lễ.

Meanwhile, Quảng Trị Province was expected to complete the relocation of tens of thousands of people to safe areas before 4pm yesterday.

At present, the water level in the province's rivers is low.

The rainfall of 200-400mm is predicted to hit the province from October 28 to October 31 and over 500mm in some places.

Flash floods and landslides are forecast to occur in the mountainous areas of Hướng Hóa, Đakrông, Cam Lộ districts.

Yesterday, the People's Committee of Đà Nẵng City signed a document to ban people from leaving home from 8pm yesterday until there is a new notice from the Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue of the city.

Cadres, civil servants, public employees and workers (including in industrial parks and high-tech zones) are allowed to leave work on October 28 except for special cases.

Chairman of the city People's Committee has requested chairpeople of the People's Committees of districts and wards to have a detailed plan, assign specific tasks and work with the army and police to carry out natural disaster prevention and control.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment was requested to work with mining enterprises to stop mining activities from 2pm Tuesday and take people out of mining areas to ensure safety.

Vietnam Airlines Group (including Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and VASCO) has announced the cancellation of hundreds of flights on October 28 in affected areas as storm Molave approached the East Sea (South China Sea).

Flights to and from Cam Ranh airport (Nha Trang), Đà Lạt, Buôn Mê Thuột will be adjusted.

On Tuesday, Vietnam Airlines changed the schedule of 25 flights to avoid the storm. — VNS

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