Vietnam mobilizes half a million people as Bebinca gets close

Created 16 August 2018
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With typhoon Bebinca set to make landfall Friday morning, Vietnamese authorities are mobilizing all forces to mitigate its impacts.

Vietnam mobilizes half a million people as Bebinca gets close

 

As of Thursday morning, the center of the tropical storm was around 170 kilometers (105 miles) off the coast off Mong Cai in the northen province of Quang Ninh, carrying maximum wind speeds of 90 kilometers per hour, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center.

The storm is expected to travel westward at 10 kilometers per hour and make landfall in northern region -- from Thai Binh to Thanh Hoa Provinces -- in the early hours of Friday morning before weakening into a low pressure zone.

Weather experts say northern Vietnam and the north-central delta should expect heavy rainfall and gusty winds until Saturday.

In response to the emergency, border and coast guards in north-central provinces from Quang Ninh to Quang Binh have ordered mass evacuation of fishing boats, fish cages and watch towers to safer areas.

“No ships and fishing boats are operating in flood-prone areas,” said a representative from the Office of Vietnam's National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue Operations.

Vietnam’s defense ministry has called for the mobilization of more than 500,000 people (54,700 soldiers, 362,000 members of the police force and 111,000 civilian volunteers) to stand ready to help residents in storm-hit areas.

Around 2,700 vehicles, including 35 vessels, 1570 cars and others have been mobilized to evacuate residents in case of emergency.

Nguyen Xuan Cuong, head of the disaster prevention committee, said Wednesday that concerned agencies should take urgent measures to ensure safety of residents in storm-prone areas.

He asked provincial leaders to stay in contact with fishing boats, evacuate residents to safety and make plans to limit damages caused by the storm.

The northern coast includes busy marine economic zones like Quang Ninh and Hai Phong, which are heavily reliant on fishing and vulnerable to floods and landslides, Cuong said.

This is the fourth storm to form this year in the East Sea, also know as the South China Sea. Two other storms, Yagi and Leepi, have formed in the South China Sea now.

The third storm, Son Tinh, which hit northern and central Vietnam last month, triggered floods and landslides that killed at least 27 people.

Vietnam was struck by a record-breaking number of 16 tropical storms in 2017 that left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions. The General Statistics Office estimated damage at around VND60 trillion ($2.64 billion), 1.5 times the previous year’s figure.

Damrey, one of the most destructive storms last year, hit Vietnam in November and killed at least 106 people.

 

Source: VNE

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