Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung inspects preparations for storm Sarika in Hai Phong (Source: VNA)
Hai Phong (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has asked authorities of the northern port city of Hai Phong to take preventive measures and do everything in their capacity to deal with typhoon Sarika, the seventh hit the nation this year.

During his tour of the city on October 18 to inspect preparations for the storm, he urged the locality to swiftly call on ships operating in the Gulf of Tonkin to find shelters, and consider banning cargo and tourism vessels from sailing if necessary.

Localities were required to focus on evacuating locals working on boats, aquatic farms, low-land areas and regions prone to landslides, and ensuring safety in mines, ports and tourism sites.

The locality must keep a close watch on the storm, and intensify inspection of dykes, embankments, and reservoirs, he stressed, adding that attention should also be paid to water drainage to protect rice and vegetable fields.

Pupils in Hai Phong would stay at home on October 19.

According to the municipal Steering Committee for natural disaster prevention, research and rescue, by 5pm on October 18, all the ships and boats operating offshore the local waters docked safely, and residents in low areas and those vulnerable to landslides were moved to safer zones.

The municipal People’s Committee will arrange 4,000 people, 1,000 vehicles and over 500 ships, and prepare food and medicines for research and rescue activities, towards effectively tackling the storm.

Storm Sarika is forecasted to enter the Gulf of Tonkin and head toward Vietnam’s coastal provinces from Quang Ninh to Nam Dinh on October 19 with winds up to 165km per hour, according to the National Forecast Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre.

It is said to be the most dangerous and strongest storms to hit Vietnam in recent years.

The centre warned that the storm would bring heavy rain of 200-300mm for northeastern and northern central localities. The rains could bring floods to these localities and mountainous areas are warned of flash floods and landslides.

The National Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and the National Steering Committee for Search and Rescue Operations have held a teleconference with authorities of 22 localities from Hai Phong to Quang Binh to discuss measures to cope with the storm.-VNA