Hanoi (VNA) - All coastal localities and ministries have been told to urgently deploy measures to prepare for the arrival of typhoon Rai, which is currently in the East Sea with wind speeds of 150-165km per hour near the eye of the storm.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control directed localities and ministries to prepare for the typhoon amid the COVID-19 pandemic in its official dispatch issued on December 16.

The Committee for Search and Rescue in provinces and cities were required to closely monitor the typhoon’s developments in order to instruct vessels to find safe shelter and take measures to ensure the safety of people. 

The provincial and municipal People’s Committees were tasked with preparing plans to respond to the typhoon, as well as floods and landslides triggered by the typhoon, the national steering committee said.

Localities must also make plans to evacuate people living in areas at high-risk floods and landslides, not only to ensure the safety of people but also following pandemic prevention and control regulations. Rescue forces must be ready to cope with flash floods and landslides and provide necessities for people living in islands in emergencies.

Measures must be implemented to protect dyke systems and ensure the safety of dams, especially key reservoirs, small hydroelectric reservoirs and works under construction or repair.

They must arrange traffic police to guide traffic, especially through spillways and deeply-flooded areas, as well as arrange rescue teams and equipment to fix any incident on the main traffic roads during the typhoon.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment must closely monitor and issue warnings of typhoon developments, rainfall, flash floods and landslides so that people know how to proactively implement response measures.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade was required to ensure the safety of oil rigs at sea; the safety of reservoirs and dams, the safety of mineral exploration activities and the safety of power grid system.

The Ministry of Health must ensure pandemic prevention and control activities, especially in evacuation areas, as well as prepare a number of medicines and water purification chemicals to support localities when required.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send diplomatic notes to countries and territories asking them to create conditions for Vietnamese vessels to take shelter and provide assistance upon request.

The Vietnam News Agency, Vietnam Television, Voice of Vietnam and other press agencies must quickly and accurately report any typhoon developments.

Data from the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting predicts that the typhoon will enter the East Sea on December 18. By 7am on December 18, the typhoon will be about 270km south-east of Song Tu Tay Island, belonging to Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, with wind speeds near the eye reaching 135-150km per hour.

It was moving west-northwest at around 25-30km per hour, the centre said.

The typhoon, combined with the effects of a cold spell, will cause rough seas and waves of 5-7m will appear in the northern part of the East Sea on December 16 night, the centre said./.