Satellite image of Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Source: nchmf.gov.vn)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Super Typhoon Mangkhut, the strongest typhoon so far this year, is predicted to hit Vietnam’s northern region on September 17 morning and bring heavy downpours and strong winds to 27 northern and north central provinces and cities.

Speaking at the online conference on responding to Typhoon Mangkhut on September 14, Hoang Duc Cuong, Director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHF), said Mangkhut is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, becoming the strongest storm of this year with sustained winds of 220km per hour.

At 1am on September 14, the storm’s eye was some 680km east-southeast of Luzon Island of the Philippines. The storm is forecast to move northwest at 20km per hour, heading to the East Sea and affecting the Tonkin Gulf in the next 48 hours.

It will hit the mainland on September 17, causing heavy downpours covering the northern and north central regions from September 17-19.

Cuong said that apart from strong winds, rough seas and strong waves, the storm would bring heavy rainfall of 200-350mm to the north. Most reservoirs in the Red River delta and from the north down to the central province of Nghe An are nearly full due to weeks of heavy rain.  

Flash floods are also predicted in Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Cao Bang and Thanh Hoa provinces following heavy downpours.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung asked localities to urge off-shore vessels to find shelter and guide other vessels to approach anchorage areas to ensure safety. The work must be finished before 10am on September 16.

Dung also asked localities to harvest aquaculture products early and organise the evacuation of people from aquaculture zones and low-lying areas before 5pm on September 16.

Traffic on key sites such as bridges will be banned during the weekend. Special teams will be deployed to check flash flood-prone areas and notify and relocate people to safe places. Food, means of transport and communications must be well-prepared in case of emergency situation.

Dung has urged the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to hold regular meetings to closely monitor the development of the storm and floods to promptly undertake response measures.

The National Committee for Search and Rescue, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Security have been asked to deploy forces and means of transport in the key areas to rescue affected people and ensure security and order.-VNA