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Tuesday,  Oct 17,2017,20:23 (GMT+7)

Storm devastates central provinces

Van Ly and Le Anh
Monday,  Sep 18,2017,18:46 (GMT+7)
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Storm devastates central provinces

Van Ly and Le Anh

Two young men ride bicycles through a flooded street in Thanh Hoa City which was struck by Tropical Storm Doksuri last week - PHOTO: VNA

HANOI, HCMC – Tropical Storm Doksuri has left a trail of devastation in central provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Binh.

The storm, the strongest in a decade, had killed at least four people and injured dozens of others in the central region by last Saturday, local media said.

Reports said 33 houses collapsed and 120,000 others got unroofed, mainly in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces. More than 6,200 houses were submerged under water and many schools and public facilities heavily damaged.

Numerous trees and electric poles fell, including a TV tower in Ky Anh town of Ha Tinh Province.

Most vessels in these provinces had been informed of the arrival of the powerful storm but at least 10 of them sank. The storm damaged 2,240 hectares of crops and 4,300 hectares of industrial and fruit trees.

Many subscribers of FPT Telecom in the region lost access to the Internet as its cable systems broke down in Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Ngang Pass tunnel. However, the company is speeding up repairs, said FPT Telecom CEO Nguyen Van Khoa.

TV and Internet networks of Saigontourist Cable TV (SCTV) in Hanoi and some northern provinces could not work. SCTV is fixing them.

The storm also caused other heavy losses in the telecom sector in central Vietnam. The telecom network in Quang Binh Province was damaged and the electricity grids, especially in Quang Trach, Bo Trach, Ba Don and Dong Hoi, were down as well.

In Quang Tri, the storm broke five cable lines of Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and five others of military-run telecom firm Viettel. The two companies have put into use their standby cable systems.

Luu Manh Ha, deputy general director of Viettel Networks, said the company would seek to minimize the impact of the interruption despite a power cut triggered by the storm.

Telecom infrastructure in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue was badly damaged.

Many flights, trains and coaches from and to the central region were canceled. Specifically, Vietnam Airlines canceled 12 flights between the country’s largest cities, Hanoi and HCMC, and the central cities of Vinh, Dong Hoi and Thanh Hoa. Dong Hoi, Vinh and Tho Xuan airports were temporarily closed.

The national flag carrier’s flight cancellations and delays affected more than 11,500 passengers.

A source from low-cost carrier Vietjet said the airline suspended a total of 28 flights from and to airports in central provinces and changed flight schedules.

Last Friday, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam asked the departments of transport of the provinces from Lang Son to Danang to change schedules of passenger buses passing through Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces.

The directorate also required investors of build-operate-transfer (BOT) road projects to coordinate with relevant agencies to facilitate the evacuation of local people and cargo transportation.

According to data of the Vietnam Railway Corporation, 30 points along the rail section from Thanh Hoa to Quang Binh of the north-south line had been blocked by felled trees and floodwaters by last Friday.

The corporation also suspended seven passenger and all cargo trains due to the effect of the storm.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week visited some provinces affected by Doksuri and asked provincial authorities to take immediate actions to cope with the consequences within five days.

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