Storm Molave, mightiest in 20 years, makes landfall over central Vietnam

By Staff reporters   October 28, 2020 | 11:37 am GMT+7
Storm Molave, mightiest in 20 years, makes landfall over central Vietnam
A welcome gate on Le Loi Street in Quang Ngai Province is fallen following strong winds due to Storm Molave, October 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.
Molave, the most powerful storm to hit Vietnam in the last 20 years, made landfall over Quang Nam and Quang Ngai Provinces in the central region at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The area between Thua Thien-Hue and Phu Yen provinces, which are 530 kilometers apart, is home to many popular tourists destinations, and they have been hit by winds of up to 135 kph. Rainfall over the region has been recorded at up to 250 mm since Tuesday evening.

Gia Lai in the Central Highlands, 250 km away, is also being battered by heavy rains and strong winds.

Torrential downpour in Quang Ngai Province in the afternoon of October 28, 2020. Video by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said many parts of the central region have been experiencing power outages.

The Central Power Corporation said that as of Wednesday afternoon, more than 1.7 million families in Da Nang and nine provinces Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Dak Lak have suffered blackout.

The entire Binh Dinh Province that borders Quang Ngai has experienced blackout since 8 a.m.

Hundreds of roofs have been blown away and some public works in Quang Ngai and Quang Nam have been badly damaged.

The roof of a school in Quang Nam Province is blown away, October 28, 2020. Video by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.

Two fishing boats sank in Binh Dinh Province on Tuesday night while trying to seek shelter, and 26 fishermen on board are missing.

There have been no other reports of human casualties so far.

The region has been hit by torrential downpours since Tuesday night.

In the ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province, many streets are flooded.

Bach Dang Street in Hoi An is under 50 cm of water, October 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

Bach Dang Street along the Thu Bon River in Hoi An is under 50 cm of water, October 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, which described Molave as the most powerful storm to hit the country in the last 20 years, has warned it is especially dangerous because of its swiftness, intensity and size.

In the next 12 hours the storm is expected to move west at a speed of 25 kph and weaken into a tropical depression.

By around 10 p.m. on Wednesday it will move to southern Laos with winds of 60 kph.

Before entering the East Sea, Storm Molave had wreaked havoc in the Philippines, killing at least three people and leaving dozens missing, the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Tuesday.

Natural disasters, mostly floods and landslides triggered by storms and heavy rains, killed 132 people and injured 207 in Vietnam last year.

 
 
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