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Sep 27, 2022 / 15:23

Typhoon Noru coming on, Vietnam closes nine airports

All flights to and from the nine airports will be halted due to the impacts of Noru, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit Vietnam's central region over the past 20 years.

Nine airports in Vietnam’s central region will stop their flight services between September 27 and 28 as localities get ready for powerful typhoon Noru, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

These airports include Chu Lai Airport (Quang Nam Province), Danang International Airport (Danang City), Phu Bai Airport (Hue City), Phu Cat Airport (Quy Nhon City), and Pleiku (Gia Lai Province), Vinh Airport (Nghe An Province), Dong Hoi Airport (Quang Binh Province), Tuy Hoa Airport (Phu Yen Province), Lien Khuong Airport (Lam Dong Province).

The CAAV said that all Vietnamese carriers have encouraged travelers to look out for typhoon-related information to plan their journey.

Noru, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit the central region over the past 20 years, is forecast to strike central Vietnam at midnight on September 27 or early on September 28 morning, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).

At 4:00 am on September 27, Noru was swirling around the eastern part of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago in Vietnam’s East Sea, packing winds of more than 166 kilometers per hour (kph) near its center.

By 10:00 am the same day, the storm was in the southeast region of the Paracel Islands, with a maximum wind speed of 183 kph, up from 149 kph the previous night, the NCHMF said.

A map detailing the route of Typhoon Noru in the East Vietnam Sea from September 27 to 29. Photo: NCHMF

The center forecast that by 7:00 pm on September 27, Noru would be 260km from Danang City, with a maximum wind speed of 166 kph. In the next 12 hours, the typhoon is forecast to move west at a speed of 20-25kph and is likely to gain further strength.

From late September 27, rough sea with 3-5m, high waves are expected along the central coast from Thua Thien-Hue to Binh Dinh provinces. As of 1:00 pm September 28, the storm’s eye will be on the central coastal region, between Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai provinces, the NCHMF said.

It added that in the next 12 to 24 hours, it is anticipated to head towards the central coast of Vietnam and batter the region before weakening into a tropical depression by 7:00 pm on September 28, which is forecast to move westwards.

Nguyen Van Huong, head of the weather forecast department under the NCHMF, said his center had issued a red alert, the level 4 out of the five levels of disaster risk, as super typhoon Noru is heading toward the central coast of Vietnam.

“The warning has been activated in the coastal localities of Danang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Binh Dinh, which are forecast to be stricken by the super typhoon. The NCHMF also issued a disaster risk warning at level 3 in provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Phu Yen, and Kon Tum,” Huong said.

He added that Noru is one of the strongest typhoons to have hit Vietnam over the past two decades, with its strength similar to Storm Xangsane in 2006, Ketsana in 2009, and Molave in 2020.

Noru, which developed from a low tropical depression off the Philippines on September 22, reached super typhoon status early on September 25 after suddenly gaining strength. It battered the northern Philippines the same day, killing at least six and flooding parts of the region.

After sweeping the Luzon island, it was downgraded a bit, with winds gusting 166kph near its eye. 

PM orders urgent measures against the super typhoon

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ordered ministries, sectors, and localities to brace against Typoon Noru at the online meeting on September 27 morning with localities in the Central region and the Central Highlands that are likely to be affected by the typhoon.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his deputy Le Van Thanh chaired an urgent meeting to respond to typhoon Noru on September 27. Photo: VGP

"All localities must keep a close watch on the developments of the storm and promptly implement instructions from central agencies while guiding vessels to seek safe shelter and supporting farmers to protect their aquatic farms," Chinh said.

The localities have to ensure the safety of reservoirs and dams. It is crucial to evacuate people in areas with high risks of landslides, the PM stressed.

Chinh ordered the evacuation of more than 93,000 households with nearly 370,000 people from dangerous areas, requesting the Ministry of National Defence and police force in the affected localities to mobilize approximately 300,000 officers to respond to the typhoon.

"Central localities should put their forces on alert before Noru makes landfall. Fishing boats still at sea need to seek shelter or return to shore," Chinh said.

According to the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, authorities of coastal provinces from Thai Binh to Ha Tinh and several south-central localities have called for nearly 60,000 fishing boats, with approximately 300,000 fishermen, to find shelters or move to shore.

Currently, relevant forces and local people are racing against time to reinforce fishing cages, public works, workshops, warehouses, and coastal construction projects before Noru makes landfall.

In response to the typhoon, the Ministry of Health has asked affected provinces to stand ready to provide healthcare services to victims of torrential rains and flooding and prevent the interruption of treatment activities.

  

 Localities from Nghe An to Phu Quoc have guided nearly 60,000 vessels to seek shelters soon before the typhoon makes landfall. Photo: Huu Tuan/ The Hanoi Times