Hanoi issues flood alert as Typhoon Mirinae pounds northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   July 27, 2016 | 06:19 pm PT
Hanoi issues flood alert as Typhoon Mirinae pounds northern Vietnam
Strong gusts of wind fells trees in a street in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Luyen
Risks of severe flooding and landslides loom large in typhoon-hit areas.

Typhoon Mirinae, the first to hit Vietnam this year, has triggered widespread downpours in Hanoi and other provinces, prompting authorities to warn of serious flooding in the capital.

Several streets in Hanoi could be submerged up to 0.4 meter of water after torrential rains, according to Vietnam's weather forecasting agency. 

Le Vu Quang , the deputy director of Hanoi Drainage Company, said if 100mm of rain lashes over two hours, many flood-prone areas in Hanoi's eight central districts will be under water.

Quang said he was also concerned that the water levels in the city's large rivers would rise because of heavy rains, which could badly affect the urban drainage system.

As of 7:00 a.m. Thursday, Mirinae had weakened to a low-pressure system while heavy rains with strong gales have continued to punish the northern region.

In the coastal district of Giao Thuy in Nam Dinh Province, strong winds felled many trees and tore billboards from buildings, leaving the streets empty. In Thanh Hoa Province, downpours and strong winds pounded many areas, blowing roofs off houses and forcing mass evacuations during the night.

Over the next three hours, the tropical depression is expected to move west-northwest inland at about 10-15 kilometer per hour, and continue to weaken further.

The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said in the next 12-24 hours, about 100-200 mm of  heavy rain will continue to lash Thanh Hoa.

"The risk of flashfloods and landslides in mountainous areas and local flooding in low-level areas in Thanh Hoa is very high," the center said in a statement.

Typhoon Mirinae made landfall in the northern provinces of Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday. It triggered heavy rains with gusts of wind blowing up to 90 kilometer per hour.

Vietnam is hit by an average of eight to 10 tropical storms between July and October every year, which often cause heavy material and human losses.

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