Storm Molave sees airports shut down in central region hinh anh 1Planes park at an airport (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - With Storm Molave fast approaching the coast, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has decided to close Chu Lai, Phu Cat, Da Nang, and Tuy Hoa airports from 6pm on October 27 to 4 pm the following day.

Pleiku Airport in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai will also be closed, from 9pm on October 27 to 7pm on October 28, the CAAV said.

Relevant agencies have been asked to keep a close watch on the impact of the storm on Dong Hoi and Cam Ranh airports in the central and south-central region, Buon Me Thuot and Lien Khuong airports in the Central Highlands, and others in the south, in order to propose suitable operational plans.

The CAAV has asked its units to work around the clock and urged the implementation of plans to minimise losses at airports from torrential rain and flooding.

Earlier, airlines such as national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Bamboo Airways announced adjustments to flight timetables given the approaching storm.

Notably, Vietnam Airlines has cancelled all 104 flights to and from Vinh, Dong Hoi, Phu Bai, Da Nang, Chu Lai, Phu Cat, Pleiku, and Tuy Hoa airports, while Pacific Airlines has cancelled six flights between HCM City and Da Nang and two between HCM City and Phu Cat.

The Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA) has also dispatched two working groups to the region to monitor local response efforts.

VMA units have kept a close watch on the development of the storm in order to guide vessels around dangerous areas and put forth plans to ensure the safety of vessels under their management.

The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR), meanwhile, has decided to suspend certain north-south trains from October 27 and has adjusted timetables for several sections.

A representative from VNR said passengers who have booked tickets can exchange them or seek a refund.

Storm Molave, the ninth of the year and the fourth within a month, is forecast to make landfall in the middle of Vietnam, from Thua Thien-Hue to Khanh Hoa province, with heavy rains and winds of up to 133 km/h on the night of October 27, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

It is expected that, by 4 am on October 28, the storm’s eye will be right over Vietnam’s coastline, from Da Nang city to Phu Yen province, with maximum winds of 165 km/h.

Torrential downpours will blanket central localities from October 27 to 29. Flooding is forecast for lagoons and low-lying areas from Thua Thien-Hue to Quang Ngai provinces.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said Molave is as strong as Storm Damrey, which struck in 2017 and left 123 people dead or missing and caused damage of 22 trillion VND (951.45 million USD)./.