Minister calls for drastic response to Storm Vamco hinh anh 1Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong speaks at the meeting on November 12 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has asked localities and competent agencies to undertake a sweeping response to Storm Vamco, which entered the East Sea on the morning of November 12 and has been erratic and unpredictable.

At a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on November 12, Cuong said storm-affected seas may stretch from the Gulf of Tonkin to south-central waters.

He ordered localities and agencies to strictly manage fishing vessels and stand ready for emergency situations like landslides, from Quang Binh to Phu Yen provinces, and flooding in the central and Central Highland regions.

At 1pm on November 12, Vamco was around 700 km southeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, with winds of up to 135 km/h, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Over the next 24 hours it will move west at a speed of 15-20 km/h before changing direction and heading northwest.

According to a report from the steering committee, torrential downpours have already lashed central localities from Thua Thien-Hue to Khanh Hoa, with rainfall of 858 mm recorded in Thua Thien-Hue’s Ho Thuy Yen commune and 760 mm in Quang Ngai’s Ba Nam commune.

Cities and provinces from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan had instructed 59,752 vehicles to move to safer places as of 6 am on November 12.

The storm could affect more than 52,000 ha of aquaculture area, nearly 85,500 ha of crops, and 1,227 km of sea dykes, it said.

In its Dispatch No 37/CD-TW, the committee asked localities to keep a close watch on the storm’s developments, inform boat owners of its direction, work to ensure all boats are at anchor in shelter, and outline evacuation plans.

Localities must also work to address the consequences of previous storms while ensuring safety at reservoirs./.