Typhoon Damrey death toll up, many areas still flooded

The heavy toll exacted by typhoon Damrey continued to rise, with the number of deaths counted at 49 people yesterday.

A rescuer holds a baby as his team helps move local residents from dangerous areas to safe places due to torrential rains, triggered by typhoon Damrey in central Quang Nam Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Son

The latest available update from the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disasters Prevention and Control also listed 27 people as missing and at least 64 others injured since Saturday, when the storm made landfall in the south-central region, its impacts spreading to the central, Central Highlands and southern regions.

It said as many as 1,358 houses in Quang Ngai, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong provinces had collapsed.

The roofs of 114,886 other houses were blown off by the typhoon’s strong winds. More than 20,000ha of crops and hundreds of kilometers of roads were damaged by the typhoon.

The committee also said that the bodies of five of nine people buried by a mountain landslide triggered by prolonged heavy rains in Quang Nam Province’s Bac Tra My District were found yesterday morning. Four others were saved.

As of noon yesterday, six people had died and six others were missing in the district.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung visited families of the deceased victims yesterday morning to express condolences and offer assistance.

He asked local authorities to evacuate people still staying in risk-prone areas and step up the search for missing people.

He also required the province to inspect and control water flow from hydropower dams to ensure the safety of people living in downstream areas.

Several areas in and around the central province have been inundated, including Hoi An and Da Nang City’s Hoa Vang District. Local administrations are working hard to evacuate residents from affected areas.

Students of Hoa Mai Kindergarten, Ong Ich Duong Primary School, Tran Nhan Tong Primary School and Dang Thai Mai Secondary School in the district were allowed to stay home because of the inundation.

More than 4,000 houses, 45ha of vegetable gardens and over 5ha of aquaculture farms in the district were inundated.

According to the Hydro-meteorology Station of Central Region, as of 4am yesterday, the water level in Vu Gia River in Quang Nam Province reached 9.96m, 0.96m higher than the third warning level. In Cam Le River, Da Nang City, the water level stood at 2.45m, 0.05 metres below the third level.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting warned yesterday morning that water levels in the Vu Gia - Thu Bon, Kon and Dakbla rivers were still rising.

At least seven houses collapsed in An Phu Commune, Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province. Several sections of the 500m-long An Phú embankment, made of reinforced concrete, were damaged.

In Binh Dinh Province, where ten fishing boats with more than a 100 people on board had sunk near the Quy Nhon Port, 88 people were rescued, 10 died and three others were listed missing as of yesterday evening.

As of yesterday noon, key routes connecting central and Central Highlands provinces had been reopened after being disrupted by the floods and landslides.

In Phu Yen Province, damaged 110kV power stations have been repaired. Central Khanh Hoa Province has repaired eight out of eleven power stations.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting also warned that inundation would continue in the districts of Phu Loc Phu Vang, Huong Tra and Hue City in Thua Thien Hue Province.

In Quang Nam Province, the districts of Dai Loc, Duy Xuyen, Dien Ban, Nghia Hanh, Mo Duc, Tu Nghia, Chau O Town, and the cities of Quang Ngai and Hoi An would also experience continued flooding, it said.

A similar warning applies to the districts of Van Canh and Hoai Nhon, as well as Quy Nhon City in Binh Dinh Province, the committee said.

The mountainous areas of Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Dak Lak provinces have been put on high alert of landslides.

After making its landfall in Viet Nam, the typhoon weakened into a tropical low-pressure system and entered Cambodia yesterday.

Cold front, high tides

Heavy rains were forecast in the central region, from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai provinces from Monday to Wednesday due to impacts of a cold front combined with wind disturbances.

Meanwhile, many streets in HCM City were submerged in water as high as 1.65m early yesterday morning because of high tides, causing traffic jams, stalling motorbikes and flooding houses.

The inundated streets, alleys and roads included: Tran Xuan Soan and Huynh Tan Phat in District 7; Le Van Luong, Nguyen Binh and Nhon Duc-Phuoc Loc in Nha Be District; Ho Ngoc Lam in Binh Tran District; and many sections of National Highway No 50 in Binh Chanh District.

Transportation and business activities in flooded areas were seriously affected, with the waters damaging a lot of furniture and other assets.

According to the Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station, the tides remain high and could reach a peak 1.64m and 1.63m this morning and evening, respectively.

Source VNS