Heavy rains, strong winds lash Vung Tau as storm Usagi approaches

By Staff reporters   November 25, 2018 | 09:38 am GMT+7
Heavy rains, strong winds lash Vung Tau as storm Usagi approaches
People ride under the heavy rain in Can Gio District in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday morning. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen

Storm Usagi is projected to make landfall in southern Vietnam Sunday afternoon.

At 8 a.m. Sunday morning, the center of the storm was just 40 kilometers (24 miles) off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, with wind speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau, home to the popular beach town of Vung Tau, neighbors Ho Chi Minh City.

Le Dinh Quyet, a meteorologist from the Southern Hydrometeorological Center, told VnExpress that the storm was moving at a speed of seven to eight kilometers per hour and was forecast to make landfall in southern provinces from Ba Ria-Vung Tau to Ben Tre on Sunday afternoon.

From 3 a.m., many areas in Ba Ria-Vung Tau have experienced torrential downpours, strong winds and sea waves rising as high as three meters.

Sea waves of up to three meters is seen in Vung Tau beach on Sunday morning. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Khoa

Sea waves of up to three meters is seen in Vung Tau beach on Sunday morning. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Khoa

Several food shops and grocery stores in the downtown area have been closed. Local authorities have used cars with loudspeakers to drive through the streets, warning local residents and tourists to stay at home and not venture outside.

Ho Chi Minh City has been told to expect heavy rainfall of up to 250 millimeters along with with gusty winds, starting Saturday afternoon. Weather experts have also cautioned the city that high tides triggered by the storm can inundate dozens of streets.

Weather stations in Hong Kong have predicted that the storm will make landfall in the adjacent area between HCMC and its western neighbor Long An Province, where more than 500 families in makeshift dwellings along rivers have been evacuated to safe areas.

Torrential downpours and strong winds are already battering Can Thanh Town in HCMC’s coastal district of Can Gio.

Video footage shows heavy rains have been lashing HCMC's coastal district Can Gio.

In the south central province of Ninh Thuan, the storm has triggered heavy rains that caused erosion and landslides in low-lying areas.

At 11 p.m. on Saturday, a section of the North-South Railway from Ka Rom to Phuoc Nhon Station in Ninh Thuan Province was submerged under water a meter high, paralyzing traffic in the area.

Around 1,000 passengers have been stuck at stations on the route.

Erosion has damaged part of the North-South Railway in Ninh Thuan Province.

Erosion has damaged part of the North-South Railway in Ninh Thuan Province.

Weather experts had earlier warned that Usagi could trigger rough seas and six-meter-high waves off the south central and southern coast.

They’d said that central provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Binh Thuan and the Central Highlands, home to popular resort towns Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Da Lat, are likely to be battered by rainfall of up to 500 millimeters, while southern provinces can expect up to 200mm.

They had also warned of floods and landslides.

Storm Usagi comes a week after heavy rains from Typhoon Toraji triggered landslides that killed at least 19 people in the south central resort town of Nha Trang.

In the first 10 months of this year, natural disasters have left 185 people dead or missing and injured 134 others, and caused losses of more than VND8.8 trillion ($381 million).

 
 
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