5 airports closed as Storm Etau approaches central Vietnam

By Pham Linh, Xuan Ngoc, Doan Loan   November 9, 2020 | 06:07 pm PT
5 airports closed as Storm Etau approaches central Vietnam
Motorbike drivers fall on Nguyen Thien Thuat Street in Nha Trang due to strong winds triggered by Storm Etau, November 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
Five airports in the south central and Central Highlands regions have been closed ahead of Storm Etau’s expected arrival on Tuesday afternoon.

At 8 a.m. on Tuesday the storm was off the coast between Binh Dinh and Ninh Thuan provinces with winds of 75 kph, according to the National Center for Meteorological and Hydrological Forecasting.

In the next few hours it is expected to move west at a speed of 15 kph and make landfall over Khanh Hoa Province, home to the famous beach resort town of Nha Trang, before weakening into a tropical depression.

The U.S. Navy and the Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), a leading forecaster and mapper of tropical storm activity at London University, too forecast the storm to make landfall over Nha Trang on Tuesday afternoon.

Aviation authorities shut down the airports of Tuy Hoa in Phu Yen, Cam Ranh in Khanh Hoa and Phu Cat in Binh Dinh in the central region and Buon Ma Thuot in Dak Lak Province and Lien Khuong in Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands as a precaution.

Ly Son Island off the province of Quang Ngai and An Nhon Island off Binh Dinh Province have been hit by strong winds.

The area from Thua Thien-Hue to Khanh Hoa provinces, home to many popular tourist destinations and beaches, have had heavy rains since 7 p.m. Monday.

In Nha Trang, many trees were uprooted on Thich Quang Duc Street in the downtown area. Along its coast, waves rose up to three meters. Authorities evacuated over 2,400 people living in low-lying areas.

Etau is the 12th storm to hit Vietnam this year.

The central region suffered from torrential rains, widespread flooding and landslides after being hit by four storms in October. At least 235 people were killed or went missing and almost 390,000 houses were flooded, according to the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority.

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