Storm Podul devolves into tropical depression

By Nguyen Quy   August 29, 2019 | 07:03 pm PT
Storm Podul devolves into tropical depression
An area in Thanh Hoa Province in north central Vietnam is flooded due to heavy rains triggered by storm Podul on Thursday and Friday. Photo by Thanh Hoa Newspaper.
Storm Podul weakened into a tropical depression after making landfall in central Vietnam Friday morning, still threatening to trigger heavy rains.

Around 1 a.m., Podul, the fourth tropical storm to hit Vietnamese waters this year, made landfall in the provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh with wind speeds of 60-75 kph, but devolved into a tropical depression shortly after.

As of 4 a.m. the center of the tropical depression was hovering above the area to the west of Quang Binh Province.

Over the next 12 hours, the depression will move in a westerly direction, before forming a low-pressure zone in the border area of Laos and Thailand.

From now until Monday, northern provinces and Thanh Hoa in the north central region are likely to receive rainfall of up to 200 mm each downpour. 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 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.

The central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue should expect rainfall of up to 200 mm a day until Saturday, weather forecasts have said.

Da Nang, the largest city in central Vietnam, is forecast to receive rainfall of 100-200 mm on Friday and Saturday.

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.

Numerous localities, including Quang Binh, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue and Kien Giang, home to Phu Quoc Island, had banned their ships and boats from sailing on Thursday as the storm approached.

As many as 13 flights between Hanoi, HCMC, Hue, Thanh Hoa's Vinh and Quang Binh's Dong Hoi by carriers Vietnam Airlines, JetStar Pacific and Vasco were cancelled the same day.

One person died and another was hospitalized as heavy rain and strong winds triggered by storm Podul felled several trees in Hanoi Thursday evening.

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 Province and its neighbors.

The country is 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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