Feature: Super storm deals lethal blow to central Vietnam

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-15 21:10:08|Editor: Song Lifang
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By Tao Jun, Hong Dieu

HANOI, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- On a national road on Friday afternoon in Vietnam's Ha Tinh province lied a big brown container and a blank water tank. It was not a traffic accident but a rage of Doksuri, the most powerful typhoon in the country over the past decade.

In the neighboring province of Nghe An, local officials and residents, wearing raincoats, used poles made from tree trunks still fresh with little branches and green leaves to reinforce a dyke in Quynh Luu district.

Typhoon Doksuri swept Vietnam's central region, killing at least six local people, the country's Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said on Friday evening.

The typhoon with violent winds, whose speed was up to 135 km per hour also blew away roofs of tens of thousands of houses, caused blackouts and telecommunications interruptions in many areas, forced over 30 flights and many train journeys to be canceled.

At 11:00 on Friday, the typhoon's eye went to inland of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces, and caused heavy rain in Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri province, according to Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

In Nghe An, a 83-year-old woman died when part of her house's ceiling fell down due to Doksuri. The typhoon also injured a local man, ripped roofs of over 200 houses, and damaged more than 700 meters of dykes in the province.

In Nghe An's Cua Lo town, many seaside roads were inundated because it rained heavily and seawater level rose to over three meters. Some 16,000 people from the province had been evacuated before Doksuri came ashore.

In Quang Binh, two people died after falling when they were reinforcing their houses amid Doksuri, said the provincial Flood and Storm Prevention Bureau.

The typhoon also injured 10 people, and caused property losses of some 3,500 billion Vietnamese dong (nearly 155 million U.S. dollars) in the province.

In Quang Binh's Quang Trach district, 100 percent of schools and medical stations, and 80 percent of houses had their roofs blew away by Doksuri.

Four concrete poles fell in the typhoon, causing a medium-voltage line drop to a national road section in Quang Binh's Le Thuy district. Power cuts were reported in many districts in the province.

In Ha Tinh, a 30-year-old man died after falling when reinforcing a restaurant in a resort. Meanwhile, over 23,000 houses had their roofs blown away by Doksuri, and many communes were inundated and isolated by flood water, said the provincial Flood and Storm Prevention Bureau.

While moving amid Doksuri, a truck and two motorbikes were rollovered by strong winds, injuring two local people in Ha Tinh. The winds also threw some containers and tanks to a national road section, and broke a 100-m television tower in the province's Ky Anh town.

Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, who was present in Ha Tinh on Friday, told local media that people in many areas in the province could not contact by phone because telephone networks were damaged by the typhoon.

At 17:00 local time, Doksuri's eye with wind speeds of 90 km per hour at maximum was in Laos' central region. It was forecast to weaken into a tropical depression by Friday night.

On Friday evening, water levels of many rivers in Vietnam's central regions, including Ngan Sau, Ngan Pho, La, Giang, Kien Giang and Thach Han, continued to go up.

Meanwhile, a hydroelectric plant in Ha Tinh had to discharge its water, so water level of Ngan Sau River continued to rise.

Flash floods and landslides were most likely to happen in mountainous areas from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri on Friday night or Saturday morning, forecast local anti-flood and storm agencies.

Due to the typhoon, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines canceled 12 flights, while budget carrier Vietjet Air canceled 21 flights.

State-owned Vietnam Railways Corporation did not let some trains depart as scheduled to avoid the typhoon.

Sitting in Roon border post in Quang Binh's Quang Trach province on Friday afternoon, Nguyen Thi Chieu, a 56-year-old woman from Quang Phu commune, ate instant noodles along with seven of her nieces and nephews.

"When water started going up, we ran away and then took center in the border post. The wind was too terrible. Now, I don't know our house by the sea can stand or not," the dark-skinned woman with a weather-beaten face sighed, casting her eyes somewhere in the thick curtain of darksome rain.