Typhoon Saola thunderstorms halt Phu Quoc boat service

By Ngoc Tai   September 1, 2023 | 10:15 pm PT
Boat and ferry services to Vietnam's largest island Phu Quoc, and nearby Nam Du and Hon Son islands, have been suspended amid Typhoon Saolas heavy rains and rough seas.

The Maritime Port Authority of Kien Giang Province said the services were suspended from Saturday until further notice.

The islands have received thunderstorms, while their waters have seen waves as high as three meters.

High-speed boats to Phu Quoc Island are anchored in Rach Gia City, Kien Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Dong

High-speed boats to Phu Quoc Island anchored in Rach Gia City, Kien Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Dong

Phu Quoc Island is 120 km from Rach Gia and 45 km from Ha Tien. There are more than 30 high-speed boat trips from the two coastal cities to the island every day. Those who already bought tickets will receive refunds or can reschedule for a later trip.

The service suspension is expected to affect people's travel plans during the National Day holiday. Many tourists on the island already canceled cruise tours on Friday, the first of the four-day break, due to heavy rains.

A travel firm representative said 60% of its customers canceled tours around the island on Friday, adding that the number of tourists coming to Phu Quoc for the holiday had already dropped by 50% compared to previous years.

Air services to Phu Quoc remain on full schedule, with 82 flights arriving on the island Friday.

Typhoon Saola, one of the region's strongest storms in decades, weakened as it made landfall in Guangdong in southern China on Saturday, after causing flooding and destruction in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau.

The typhoon was packing winds of more than 200 kilometres per hour (125 miles per hour) on Friday, forcing Hong Kong and nearby Chinese provinces to cancel hundreds of flights, and shut businesses and schools.

Vietnam's Southern Hydro-meteoroglical Center said the typhoon will cause thunderstorms in seas off the Mekong Delta from Ca Mau to Kien Giang provinces, with winds of 29-49 kph and waves of 1.5-3 meters.

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