Typhoon Rai: central Vietnam fisherman dies after boat capsizes

By Staff reporters   December 19, 2021 | 01:20 am PT
Typhoon Rai: central Vietnam fisherman dies after boat capsizes
Strong waves are observed in sea regions of the south central province of Binh Thuan as Typhoon Rai approaches, December 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Hieu
A 38-year-old fisherman drowned in Binh Thuan Province Sunday morning after his boat capsized while he was trying to anchor another one to save it from Typhoon Rai.

The accident happened when Khanh, a resident of Chi Cong Commune, sailed out in rough seas and big waves triggered by the typhoon in order to anchor another boat, said Nguyen Hung Tan, office head of the provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention, Search and Rescue.

Also Sunday morning, rough seas sank five fishing vessels and damaged three in the sea region of Tuy Phong District, Tan said.

While rainfall had reduced on Song Tu Tay Island in Khanh Hoa Province Sunday morning, authorities had to clean up and address damage caused by Typhoon Rai. Several roofs were blown away and orchards were damaged, but the island’s residents managed to take shelter safely.

In Quang Ngai Province’s Ly Son Island District, many trees were felled and orchards damaged. Around 760 vessels in the area have been brought to safety, and all remaining vessels were expected to be secured in the afternoon.

Authorities are maintaining contact with 11 fishing vessels with 100 fishermen that are anchored at the Spratly Islands.

Pham Thi Cong, Chairwoman of Nghia An Commune, said vessels at the Paracel Islands would have to move against the winds if they try to head back to shore. Therefore, fishermen have chosen to be anchored in place to weather out the storm.

In Quang Nam's Cham Island, heavy rains and rough seas were observed Sunday afternoon. Strong sea waves spilled rocks, sand and mud onto routes near the dyke in Bai Lang Village, even getting into people's homes.

Pham Thi My Huong, Chairwoman of Tan Hiep Commune where the village is located, said the wind was getting stronger and people living near the coast have been evacuated.

At around 3 p.m. Sunday, Typhoon Rai was around 160 km east off Binh Dinh, around 215 km off Quang Ngai and 205 km off Ly Son Island to the southeast, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

It was carrying maximum wind speeds of 165 kph. Over the next three hours, Rai is expected to move north-northwest at around 20 kph.

The typhoon has weakened since earlier this morning. The Tropical Storm Risk website, run by the U.K.'s University College London, has put the storm at Category 4 instead of Category 5 as earlier in the morning.

Rai, the ninth typhoon to appear in the South China Sea this year, is the strongest storm to have hit the Philippines this year, where the AFP has reported more than 80 deaths.

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