17 fishermen missing at sea trying to evade storm Podul

By Vo Hai, Nguyen Hai   August 30, 2019 | 03:00 am PT
17 fishermen missing at sea trying to evade storm Podul
A fishing vessel in central Vietnam is guided back to shore away from Storm Podul, August 29, 2019. Photo courtesy of Nghe An Border Guard.
17 crew members of three fishing vessels at sea have lost contact with the mainland since Thursday, local reports say.

The vessels from the central Binh Dinh Province are believed to be drifting along the seas off the central Ha Tinh Province and Da Nang City since Thursday.

Eight ships from the Vietnamese naval and coast guard forces have been deployed by the Ministry of Defense to search for the 27 missing men, said Do Duy Phuong of the National Committee for Natural Disaster Response and Rescue Friday.

Another ship, which was delivering coal from the northern Quang Ninh Province to the southern Can Tho City, had its engine break down off the coast of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces Thursday.

Ten crew members got on on emergency buoys when the ship started to tilt, its captain said before losing contact.

They were found by another cargo ship on Friday afternoon. They have been given food and clothes and are expected to be brought to shore early on Saturday.

Storm Podul’s quick movement speed caught the ships off guard, said Phuong.

Around 1 a.m. Friday, Podul, the fourth tropical storm to hit Vietnamese waters this year, made landfall in the provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh with wind speeds of 60-75 kph, but devolved into a tropical depression shortly after.

From now until Monday, heavy rainfall of up to 300 mm a day is expected in several Vietnamese localities, including Hoa Binh, Son La, Yen Bai and Phu Tho in the northern region, Da Nang, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in the central region, and Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

One person died and another was hospitalized as heavy rain and strong winds triggered by storm Podul felled several trees in Hanoi Thursday evening.

Natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides, killed 181 people last year and left 37 others missing and caused losses of around VND20 trillion ($858 million).

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