Storm Podul death toll rises to six

By Nguyen Quy   September 1, 2019 | 12:16 am PT
Storm Podul death toll rises to six
Heavy rains and resulting flash floods isolate many roads in Thanh Hoa Province on August 31, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Son.
Flash floods, thunderstorm and lightning triggered by Storm Podul have killed at least six people and left two others missing.

Although Podul, the fourth tropical storm to hit Vietnam so far this year, devolved into a tropical depression Friday morning after making landfall in the central provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, the heavy rains that it brought triggered flooding, landslides and lightning in northern and north central provinces.

Quang Binh and the northern province of Hoa Binh reported one death each due to floods as of Sunday, according to the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control's latest information. Another in Hoa Binh and two people in northern Thai Nguyen Province were struck dead by lightning.

A young man in Hanoi died as heavy rain and strong winds triggered by storm Podul felled several trees in the capital on Thursday evening.

Authorities in the northern province of Lao Cai said Sunday morning that a couple, who were swept away by the flashfloods on Friday while working at a hydropower plant site, have yet to be found.

17 crew members of three fishing vessels from central Binh Dinh Province are believed adrift in the seas off the central Ha Tinh Province and Da Nang City and have lost contact with the mainland since Thursday.

Local officials also said that flooding has heavily damaged more than 1,000 houses and flooded 282 others.

Weather experts have predicted that northern provinces and Thanh Hoa Province in the north central region are likely to receive rainfall of up to 200 mm each day until Monday. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

Northern mountainous provinces like Hoa Binh, Son La, Yen Bai and Phu Tho will receive rainfall of between 200 to 300 mm a day, and local residents have been warned to watch out for landslides and flash floods.

Water levels in the northern delta's Red River as well as rivers in Thanh Hoa Province are expected to rise, triggering flooding in surrounding areas.

Rainfall of between 100-150 mm is forecast for southern Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, until Sunday, and 150-250 mm in the Central Highlands region.

Earlier this month Vietnam was struck by storm Wipha, which brought heavy rains, floods and landslides that left at least 10 dead and 11 missing in Thanh Hoa and neighboring provinces.

The country is usually hit by up to 10 tropical storms during the monsoon season between July and October. Four are expected this year.

Natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides, killed 181 people last year and left 37 others missing and caused losses of around VND20 trillion ($858 million).

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