According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the wind power near the storm’s eye is around 60-75 km per hour, packing wind gusting up to category from 8 to 10.

Due to prolonged heavy rain, the water level in different rivers in the central region have fluctuated around the second warning level, and central areas are facing a very high risk of landslides in mountainous districts.

Notably, many places in the central province of Ha Tinh are still isolated by flooding with thousands of households in districts being submerged.

Wide-scale flooding will continue to be seen in urban areas of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces. Natural disaster risks caused by flash floods and landslides are at the third warning level.

Many areas in the central province of Ha Tinh are still inundated by rising floodwater
In a dispatch issued on October 20, the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Control asked localities to keep a close watch on the movement of Saudel and quickly inform vessels operating at sea about the approaching storm, making it easier for them to move out of dangerous zones at sea.

Storm Saudel is posing a big threat to central localities which have already been devastated by record rainfall of up to 3,000 mm over the past 10 days.  

The recent severe flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain in the central region left 106 dead and 27 others missing as of 5 pm on October 20.

The steering committee has warned coastal localities and relevant ministries and agencies about the new storm, which is moving towards the East Sea, while the central region is struggling with large-scale flooding.

The Standing Office of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Control reported that during the course of October 6-20, the natural disasters in the central and central highlands regions left 133 dead and missing,16 national highways, damaged thousands ha of rice and other crops, and killed or swept away more than half a million heads of cattle and poultry.

Vietnam braces for tropical storm Saudel

Vietnam is gearing up for the arrival of yet another storm, Saudel, while provinces in the central region are still reeling from the worst flooding in years, which has killed more than 100 people and left dozens missing.
As of 10am on October 21, tropical storm Saudel was located at 600 kilometres to the east-southeast of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands and is expected to make landfall in Vietnam over the weekend.

The storm is currently packing winds of up to 75 kilometres per hour and will grow in intensity as it moves across the East Sea towards the Vietnamese coast.

In the next few days, the eighth storm to hit Vietnam in 2020 is forecast to reach typhoon status with sustained wind speeds of up to 135 kilometres per hour.

The national disaster management agency has urged the provinces from Thanh Hoa to Quang Nam to be on full alert and guide fishing vessels to navigate away from danger zones or refrain from going to the sea in the coming days.

In the meantime, authorities and the armed forces in Vietnam’s central provinces are still racing to help residents affected by severe flooding.

In Quang Binh, one of the worst hit provinces, where floodwater levels have broken all historical records and locals are worn out after three consecutive days battling the elements, the military and the police have been using special vehicles to evacuate people trapped by the flood to higher grounds.

The armed forces were also mobilised to distribute food, water and life jackets to isolated areas while many charitable groups cooked rice and instant food to help with the relief efforts. 

Heavy rains will continue to lash the region as a result of cold air combined with a convergence zone but are expected to let up from the night of October 21.

However, there is still a high risk of landslides in the provinces from Ha Tinh to Khanh Hoa and the Central Highlands after days of intense rain while cities and low-lying areas across central Vietnam continue to face flooding.

The death toll from rains and floods since early October has risen to 111 people, while thousands of hectares of rice and other crops have suffered damages and more than 680,000 poultries and 5,800 cattle were killed. VOV/Nhan Dan