Armored vehicles dispatched as storm Nakri approaches central Vietnam

By Pham Linh, Viet Quoc   November 10, 2019 | 05:41 am PT
Armored vehicles dispatched as storm Nakri approaches central Vietnam
Two BRDM-2 armored cars dispatched to Binh Dinh Province, November 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
With storm Nakri closer to making landfall, ten armored cars have been dispatched to central Vietnam provinces from Quang Ngai to Khanh Hoa.

The storm, which could be the strongest one of the year, is set to make landfall tonight.

The BRDM-2 armored cars, weighing 8 tons each, can carry over 10 passengers plus goods, Cao Phi Hung, Deputy Commander of Military Region 5, said Sunday. They are also amphibious, allowing them access to flooded areas.

Besides the armored cars, 562 speedboats and 664 cars of different variants have also been dispatched, he added.

Over 56,000 soldiers have been deployed to help evacuate over 35,000 people in central Vietnam provinces, and to guide 34,000 vessels to safety.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, storm Nakri was 140 km to the east of Vietnamese shores from Binh Dinh to Phu Yen provinces, with a maximum wind speed of 100 kph, said the National Center for Hydro- Meteorological Forecasting. In the coming hours, the storm is expected to move west at 15 kph.

The Hong Kong Observatory and the Japan Meteorological Agency expect Nakri to make landfall in Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces either Sunday night or Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Hoan Hiep, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the storm would make landfall around 10-11 p.m. Sunday night, with a maximum wind speeds of 90 kph.

Heavy rain and strong winds have lashed Phu Yen since Sunday afternoon, with rice fields in Tuy An District having been flooded. Phu Yen would be "the centerpoint of Nakri," said Hiep. The province should expect rain levels up to 500 mm starting Sunday afternoon, he added. Rainfall of 180 mm in 24 hours is considered heavy.

Central Vietnam, home to popular tourist destinations like Nha Trang and Quy Nhon, was hit by storm Matmo last month. It felled hundreds of trees, damaged many houses and caused widespread flooding in Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Quang Ngai provinces.

Vietnam is hit by up to 10 tropical storms during the southwest monsoon between July and October. There were nine last year.

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