Tropical storm Podul is projected to make landfall on a stretch from central Thanh Hoa to Quang Binh at noon on August 30 with heavy rains are expected in the northern and central regions from August 29 afternoon to September 2.
|Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, head of the committee, said the storm would enter the country during the National Day holidays.|
By 1:00 on August 29, the tropical storm was located to the northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, packing winds of 75-90 kilometres per hour, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre.
Podul is moving westwards at a speed of 20-25 kilometres per hour and is expected to gain further strength over the coming days.
The storm, the fourth of its kind entering the East Sea this year, is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression after hitting the mainland on August 31.
In a related move, the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has asked its sub-committees, relevant ministries and sectors to brace for tropical storm Podul.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, head of the committee, said the storm would enter the country during the National Day holidays so it was necessary for tourists to pay attention to weather forecasts.
“These are issues that ministries, branches and localities should pay utmost attention to while dealing with the storm. We cannot be negligent because there are only two days left before the storm landing," Dung said at a meeting held on August 28 to discuss measures to cope with the tropical storm in the East Sea.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said areas forecast to have heavy rain were the northern mountainous provinces, the Red River Delta, the north-central region and the Central Highlands. These areas have recently been experienced damage to soil structure.
If heavy rains continued to occur in these areas, it was necessary to prepare for flash floods and landslides, he said.
“These areas have many reservoirs, including degraded and small hydropower reservoirs, so localities must prepare for possible incidents," said Cuong.
The Border Guard High Command said as of August 28 afternoon, the command had provided information about the storm’s direction and progress to 70,000 vehicles and 300,000 fishermen. However, nearly 800 ships with over 5,000 people were operating in dangerous areas.
The same day, the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control sent urgent messages to 13 provinces and cities to make plans the storm.
The concerned ministries and authorities of the localities in the path of the storm were asked to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of local residents and their properties.
The vessels operating at sea will be informed of the storm so that they can escape or stay away from the danger zone.
Local authorities were asked to review and be ready to evacuate residents from areas at high risk of flash floods.
“Over recent years, the damage caused by floods is much higher after the storm than when it lands, so we need to be fully prepared to deal with the storm for many days," the Deputy PM said.
Vietnam prepares for Storm Podul
Boats will be banned from going to sea in Thanh Hoa Province while 26,000 people Nghe An are ready to be evacuated as the Storm Podul is forecast to hit the central region.
The Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue in Thanh Hoa Province has asked locality authorities to quickly complete preparation to deal with the storm such as guiding boats, tourists and coastal businesses to shelter.
Residents have been banned from going to the sea starting from 5 am on August 29 until the storm weakens. The authorities will send employees to help harvest the crops and review the number of households living in danger zones.
As of August 28, there were 3,839 vessels working offshore and contact has been lost with three vessels.
According to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, Storm Podul will move to the west at the speed of 25km/h and will keep strengthening in the next 24 hours. On August 30, it will be 300km from Nghe An Province.
Nghe An authorities have also banned residents from going out to sea and are ready to evacuate 26,000 people if necessary. Fisheries Departments also informed farmers about the storm so they can take preventive measures. There are 960 cages in fish farms, covering nearly 17,000 hectares of water surface in Nghe An.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung ordered disaster prevention and search and rescue committees to closely monitor the situation since Podul is a huge storm that will occur during the national holiday.
The residents in Quang Tri Province are also in a hurry to harvest their crops as the storm approaches. Many people are staying overnight in their fields in order to harvest all of the crops in time.
"If we don't harvest it now, we'll suffer huge damage from the storm. All of our effort and money will be lost. It's better to work hard now," said Le An.
Nearly 5,000 hectares of rice in Quang Tri still needs to be harvested.