Railway paralyzed, flights grounded, ships sunk as Storm Damrey sweeps through central Vietnam

By Doan Loan   November 5, 2017 | 12:08 am GMT+7

About 10 trains and over 80 flights have been canceled, while seven cargo ships have been sunk.

Storm Damrey has paralyzed rail, air as well as sea traffic in south central Vietnam after making landfall in the region early Saturday.

The country's railway authorities have stopped all trains on the section of the North-South Railway from Binh Dinh Province to Ninh Thuan Province to repair the damaged railway.

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Many trees have been knocked down onto the railway. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa.

Dozens of trees, sign posts and power poles have been knocked down onto the railway, while Cay Cau Station in Khanh Hoa Province has been submerged, according to the Railways Corporation.

As a result, about 1,500 passengers on six trains, as well as six cargo trains, have been forced to stay at stations along the route. All passengers would be provided with free meals until they can resume their journeys once reparations to the railway are completed.

Railway authorities have canceled two trains from Saigon Station and a train from Quy Nhon Station. Repair work is estimated to be completed on late Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's airlines have also grounded at least 84 flights on Saturday due to the storm.

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines reported canceling 40 flights to Quy Nhon, Buon Ma Thuot, Da Lat and Hue airports. However a Vietnam Airlines representative said it would resume flights to affected airports from Sunday.

Low-cost airline Vietjet Air has canceled 12 flights to Vinh, Da Lat, Hue and Buon Ma Thuot, resulting in many other flights being affected. Another low-cost airline Jetstar Pacific has also canceled 12 flights. Both airlines have announced that services would be resumed as soon as the weather permits.

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A cargo ship ran aground near Quy Nhon during the storm. Photo courtesy of Giao Thong (Transport) newspaper.

The storm has also sunk seven cargo ships in waters near Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces. A total of 71 crew members have been rescued, but 12 are still missing.

Additionally, the Panamanian ship Fei Yue 9 with a crew of 15 from China and Myanmar ran aground near Quy Nhon Town. The crew members have been rescued and are well.

Storm Damrey made landfall in Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces at around 6 a.m. on Saturday with wind speed of 135 kilometers (83.9 miles) per hour before moving west through the Central Highlands. By 3 p.m., the storm weakened into a tropical depression with wind speed of 60 kilometers per hour and crossed into Cambodia.

At least 20 people have been killed, 17 are missing and more than 500 houses have been destroyed by the storm.

 
 
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