Coastal central provinces brace for typhoon SONCA

Central provinces are bracing for further bad weather, as a tropical low-pressure system has gained strength and turned into typhoon SONCA.

Torrential rain caused flooding and landslides in Trà Lâm Commune, Trà Bồng District, in the coastal central province of Quảng Nam on Friday morning.—VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Cường

HÀ NỘI — Central provinces are bracing for further bad weather, as a tropical low-pressure system has gained strength and turned into tropical storm SONCA.

Maximum rainfall is predicted at up to 800mm.

In Thừa Thiên Huế Province, the provincial People’s Committee held an urgent meeting on Friday, with preparations discussed for heavy rain and potential flooding.

Chairman of the committee Nguyễn Văn Phương ordered the Education and Training Department to allow all students living in low-lying areas to stay at home on Friday afternoon and all students in the province will be allowed to stay at home from Saturday.

He also told the agencies to closely monitor developments of the storm, ensure safety for offshore vessels, and plan food and necessities for people living in high-risk areas if they are isolated by floods and landslides.

People living in high-risk areas could be evacuated if necessary, he added.

In Quảng Nam Province, Lê Trí Thanh, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, ordered agencies on Friday to be ready to cope with the typhoon.

The agencies have to take measures to ensure safety for offshore vessels and residents during torrential rain, flash floods and landslides, he said.

The management unit of the reservoir for irrigation and hydroelectricity has been told to be on duty 24 hours a day; monitor and promptly handle incidents; and regularly report to superior management agencies, he said.

In Gia Lai Province, the provincial People’s Committee has issued Official Dispatch No. 05/CĐ-UBND, requesting agencies to focus on directing and deploying measures to prepare for the coming severe weather system.

Investors and owners of local reservoirs have to ensure the safety of local people and the works in downstream areas.

For reservoirs that are already full, it is necessary to regulate the water level.

They must provide information to the authorities and people in downstream areas before releasing water.

It must assign forces at full reservoirs and any dangerous reservoirs to handle any incidents.

Accordingly, Ka Nak reservoir is told to discharge water for the first time with a flow of 200cu.m per second, then it should adjust the discharge in accordance with the provisions of Decision No. 878/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister with the maximum discharge volume of 400cu.m per second.

An Khê reservoir is told to discharge water for the first time with a flow of 150cu.m per second, then it should adjust the discharge flow to a maximum of 500 cu.m per second.

The discharge of these two reservoirs was set to start at 4pm on Thursday and end when the floods, triggered by the tropical low-pressure system, ends.

In Quảng Ngãi Province, local rescue forces on Friday morning called off the search for a missing engineer at Kà Tinh 1 Hydropower Plant in Trà Lâm Commune, Trà Bồng District, due to the severe weather.

The engineer was reported missing after a landslide destroyed an electricity generating unit of the plant on Monday.

Deputy Chairman the People's Committee of the District Trần Văn Sương said that after four days of searching, the rescuers found the man's motorbike in a stream, about 200m from the scene of the landslide.

Tropical low-pressure system

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting warned that by 1pm today the typhoon was about 250km southeast of Đà Nẵng-Quảng Nam. The strongest winds near its eye reached about 62-74 km per hour.

It is moving northwest at a speed of about 15km per hour.

The typhoon is predicted to make landfall in Đà Nẵng-Quảng Nam at 10am on Saturday.

Due to the typhoon, the northwest part of the East Sea has experienced heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Waves are about 3-5m in height in the middle of the East Sea, 4-6m in the northern part of the East Sea; and 2-4m in the sea from Quảng Ngãi Province to Bình Thuận Province.

Coastal provinces from Thừa Thiên Huế Province to Bình Định Province should be on alert for flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion. 

Flash floods and landslides are forecast in low-lying, mountainous areas while flooding is likely to happen in urban areas from Quảng Bình Province to Khánh Hòa, Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Đak Lak provinces. — VNS


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