Typhoon Dianmu leaves path of destruction in northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   August 19, 2016 | 05:34 am PT
Heavy rains inundate streets, fell trees and sweep away vehicles in typhoon-hit areas.

Despite reducing to a low-pressure system as it made landfall in Vietnam, Typhoon Dianmu has left a trail of destruction across Hanoi, deluging streets, toppling trees and sweeping away motorbikes.

The third typhoon to hit the country this year landed in the northern province of Hai Phong at 1 p.m. Friday. Thousands of households near the coast were on high alert, and authorities were monitoring the situation in case they needed to evacuate the area.

In Hanoi, heavy rains of up to 80mm have blanketed the city since last night, causing flooding in many areas.

As the wind picked up, trees started to topple, and one giant tree crushed fell and crushed a car on Hai Ba Trung Street.

Most kindergartens and primary schools had advised parents to pick their children up from school early, and many companies allowed staff to leave early.

Newly planted trees on Kim Ma Street in Hanoi were felled despite being propped up, and on Phan Boi Chau Street, water rose to knee high levels, causing flooding and congestion.

Heavy rains also raised the water level in the Nhue River, hampering drainage from Hanoi. The capital's drainage company deployed over 2,000 workers and 200 special vehicles to drain water from the city. 

On Ring Road 3, motorbikes were simply blown over and raincoats were flying everywhere. Cars were forced to slow down due to the strong winds and fallen riders ahead.

At 4:25 p.m., the typhoon died down to a low-pressure system in Hanoi. For the next three to six hours, the system will penetrate further inland with heavy rainfall still forecast for most of northern Vietnam.

No deaths were reported, but 11 houses were knocked down, six had their roofs torn off and 22 electric and communications poles were felled. 200 meters of sea defense was also damaged, and 50 hectares of crops were destroyed.


Foreign tourists take a cyclo in Hanoi’s Old Quarter on the afternoon of August 19. Photo by VnEXpress/Giang Huy

At 1:40 p.m., 1,200 people in the coastal district of Kim Son in Ninh Binh Province were moved to safe havens.

Heavy rains also caused a mudslide at a golf course project near a residential area in Ha Long, Quang Ninh Province.

Gale-force winds have torn the roofs of kiosks in Nam Dinh Province, and water levels have risen dramatically.


A make-shift kiosk in Hoang Mai District in Hanoi was knocked down by gale-force winds. Photo by VnExpress/Son Duong

As the storm set in, there were few drivers out on the street, and those who dared to brave the elements were being extra cautious. Many were even forced to pull over to take shelter.

“Everybody should keep off the roads, especially overpasses and bridges. Winds are strong enough to knock over motorbikes. Even cars should avoid bridges like Thanh Tri, Vinh Tuy and Nhat Tan,” warned meteorologist Nguyen Van Huong.

183,000 officers, four helicopters and many other vehicles and equipment have been mobilized by the National Committee for Search and Rescue and the Ministry of National Defense to help cope with the storm.

Nine tourists remain stranded on Co To Island in Quang Ninh Province, said Hoang Ba Nam, chairman of the island's People’s Committee. They will be taken to the land once the typhoon blows itself out.

Typhoon Mirinae, the second to hit Vietnam this year, claimed the lives of seven people, injured 63 and felled about 1,000 trees across the capital just last month.

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