Successive floods in Vietnam's central provinces have killed at least 18 people and left 14 others missing as of October 12 afternoon while the country is bracing for another tropical storm, according to the National Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue.
The flooding comes as tropical storm Linfa hit central Vietnam on October 11 just hours after being upgraded and then lost strength to become a tropical depression again.
Linfa was forecast to bring heavy rainfalls and strong winds to central and south-central Vietnam until October 13 as it moves inland.
Warnings of flash floods, landslides and local flooding have been issued for the provinces from Quang Binh to Binh Dinh and the Central Highlands region. The provinces exposed to the highest risk are Thua Thien Hue, Danang and Quang Nam.
This is the first time the wooden pontoon walkway along the province’s Huong river (a famous tourist attraction) has been submerged. Photo: HD
Quang Tri province suffered the heaviest death toll with three people having perished and seven reported missing.
Lots of areas in Thua Thien-Hue province have been inundated. This is the first time the wooden pontoon walkway along the province’s Huong river (a famous tourist attraction) has been submerged and pedestrian roads around the river are under water.
Flooding has isolated communities and submerged or damaged up to 100,000 houses, leaving up to 31,000 people displaced.
In the next few days, the central region would brace itself for another storm which will bring more rains and result in more flooding, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) forecast.
It is highly likely that a new low-pressure area will be formed to the east of the Philippines on October 13-14 and would grow into a storm in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, the NCHMF said, adding that Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline.
A main road is cut off by flooding in Quang Binh province. Photo: ND
Information about the impending storms was unveiled during an October 12 meeting held by the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control in Hanoi in order to discuss emergency response plans to the flooding and heavy rain which have hit the central region, in addition to the upcoming tropical depressions.
During discussions, Hoang Phuc Lam, deputy director of the NCHF, said two new tropical depressions are expected to form in the East Sea between October 11 and 20 and potentially to develop into storms.
The routes and developments of the new storms will be affected by two cold fronts that will arrive on October 14-15 and October 17-18, Mr. Lam elaborated.
These new storms are likely to head toward central Vietnam, the official said, adding that heavy downpours and floods may linger in the region over the next 10 days as a result.
Mr. Lam added that from now to the end of this year, four to six tropical depressions or storms would develop in the East Sea and at least two would make landfall in Vietnam.
Linfa has been the sixth storm to hit Vietnam so far this year. Storm Noul, the fifth one, killed six people last month.
Natural disasters, mostly floods and landslides triggered by storms, killed 132 people and injured 207 others in Vietnam last year.