Storm Noul shuts down central Vietnam airports

By Anh Duy   September 17, 2020 | 06:32 am PT
Storm Noul shuts down central Vietnam airports
A Vietnam Airlines plane parks at the Da Nang Airport in Da Nang City in August 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
Storm Noul has forced the cancellation of several dozen flights as three central Vietnam airports suspend their Friday operations.

The Chu Lai Airport in Quang Nam Province will suspend operations from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, the Da Nang Airport from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the Phu Bai Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam announced Thursday afternoon.

National carrier Vietnam Airlines said it has canceled 10 flights between Hanoi/HCMC and Da Nang, while delaying four flights until after 8 p.m. Friday. It has also canceled 14 Friday flights between Hanoi/HCMC and Hue and eight to and from Quang Nam.

Three other flights between Hanoi/HCMC and Quang Binh Province, also in central Vietnam, would delay their arrival until after 7 p.m. Friday. Flights from and to Buon Ma Thuot, Quy Nhon, Da Lat, Vinh and Thanh Hoa airports might also be rescheduled due to the storm, Vietnam Airlines said.

The national carrier would operate 22 flights to and from Da Nang, Hue and Quang Nam on Saturday to help evacuate passengers.

Budget carrier Vietjet Air said it has canceled six Friday flights between HCMC and Quang Nam, eight between Hanoi/HCMC and Da Nang, and eight between Hanoi/HCMC and Hue.

Another budget carrier, Bamboo Airways, has canceled four flights between Hanoi/HCMC and Da Nang, and two each between Hanoi and the Central Highlands' Da Lat and Buon Ma Thuot.

Other domestic flights on Friday might also be delayed due to the storm’s impacts, the carriers said.

Passengers of canceled flights will be transferred to other flights after the weather improves.

Storm Noul, the fifth storm to form in the South China Sea (known in Vietnam as the East Sea) this year, is expected to make landfall around Friday afternoon in central Vietnam. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, the storm’s eye was on the southern sea regions of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands with a maximum wind speed of 100 kph.

In the next 24 hours, the storm is expected to move west-northwest at 20-25 kph. It is expected to maintain its maximum wind speed upon making landfall in localities from Quang Binh to Quang Nam, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The storm is expected to trigger rainfall of up to 400 mm in provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai on Thursday and Friday.

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