Storm Matmo weakens into tropical depression, more heavy rains forecast

By Huu Nguyen   October 31, 2019 | 09:16 am GMT+7
Storm Matmo weakens into tropical depression, more heavy rains forecast
A man cleans up trees uprooted in Phu Yen Province, south central Vietnam, upon storm Matmo's landing on October 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

Vietnam could breathe a sigh of relief as storm Matmo devolved into a tropical depression Thursday morning after making landfall in south central provinces.  

On Wednesday night, Matmo, the fifth tropical storm to hit Vietnamese waters this year, made landfall in the provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen carrying maximum wind speeds of 90 km per hour, but weakened into a tropical depression shortly after.

As of 4 a.m. Thursday, the center of the tropical depression was hovering over the mainland of Gia Lai Province in the Central Highlands with wind speeds of 50 kph.

Over the next 12 hours, the depression is forecast to continue moving in a westerly direction at 15 kph before forming a low-pressure zone in the border area with Cambodia.  

No casualities have been reported so far. The storm brought heavy rains and strong winds that felled trees and knocked down several buildings, leading to power cuts in Binh Dinh and Phu Yen.

A restaurant in Binh Dinh Province collapsed after storm Matmo made landfall on October 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh.

A restaurant in Binh Dinh Province collapsed after storm Matmo made landfall on October 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh.

Weather experts have warned more heavy rains would hit central provinces and the Central Highlands over the coming days.

Rainfall of 300-600 mm should be expected in central provinces Thua Thien-Hue to Ninh Thuan and the Central Highlands Thursday, they've said. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh should expect more torrential downpours with rainfall of up to 400 mm on Friday and Saturday.

Six airports – Phu Cat, Tuy Hoa and Cam Ranh in the central region and Pleiku, Buon Ma Thuot and Lien Khuong in the Central Highlands – have been closed since Wednesday.

Vietnam is hit by up to 10 tropical storms during the monsoon season, usually between July and October.

The country was struck by nine storms last year. Storm Podul hit central provinces in August, killing six people.

 
 
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