Vietnam braces for tropical storm Saudel

Wednesday, 2020-10-21 11:04:40
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The projected path of Saudel (Photo: NCHMF)
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NDO - 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 (South China 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.

An injured woman is taken to hospital by local police officers.

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.

A bulldozer is used to clear mud left by floods at a local school in Quang Tri Province.