Many reservoirs are nearly full now and could burst at any time after Storm Damrey leaves a trail of destruction in the region.
The death toll rose to at least 44 on Sunday from the typhoon that pummeled central and southern Vietnam just days before the region is due to host the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm to hit Vietnam this year, made landfall on Saturday with winds of up to 135 km/h (84 mph) that damaged more than 40,000 homes, knocked down electricity poles and uprooted trees.
The Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said 29 people were now counted dead and 19 were missing. It said over 600 houses had collapsed entirely and 4,000 hectares (9,884 acres) of rice were damaged. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated.
With heavy rains expected to continue pounding the region on Monday, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, warned at a meeting Sunday that many rivers and reservoirs were nearly full now, implying they could burst at any time.
“We are facing possibly the worst-ever peril,” Cuong said at the meeting.
Heavy rain and high winds lashed the coastal strip on Sunday. Flooding led to a 30 km (19 miles) tailback on Vietnam’s main north-south highway in Thua Thien Hue Province.
Flooding has held up traffic on the north-south highway in Thua Thien Hue Province. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
The heaviest impact of the typhoon was near the popular resort town of Nha Trang, which is around 500 km (310 miles) south of the coastal city of Da Nang, where the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is taking place this week.
Nha Trang has been among the hardest hit by the typhoon. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
Danang itself also suffered. A gateway proclaiming “Welcome to Da Nang” collapsed in the storm, state media said. Authorities in the area called on citizens to volunteer to help clean up.
A gateway proclaiming “Welcome to Da Nang” collapsed in the storm. Photo by VnExpress
Da Nang will host U.S. President Donald Trump from Nov. 10, as well as China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and counterparts from other APEC members.
The storm moved from the coastal area into a key coffee-growing area of the world’s biggest producer of robusta coffee beans. Traders had expected the storm to delay harvesting, but were not sure whether it would damage the crop.
The government said on Saturday more than 40,000 hectares (99,000 acres) of crops had been damaged, including sugar cane, rice fields and rubber plantations.
Floods killed more than 80 people in northern Vietnam last month, while a typhoon wreaked havoc in central provinces in September. The country of more than 90 million people is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline.
Damrey touched down in Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces early Saturday with wind speed of 135 kilometers (83.9 miles) per hour. In this photo, metal roofs are swept to National Highway 1 in Khanh Hoa.
The storm knocks down a gas station in Khanh Hoa…
… and floods many streets of Nha Trang, a popular resort town in the province.
A car is buried under metal roofs in Nha Trang.
A restaurant on Tran Phu Street of Nha Trang totters in the strong wind. Locals said strong winds and heavy rains have started since midnight on Friday. As the storm came closer the situation kept getting worse until morning.
An electric pole in Khanh Hoa. Many areas in Khanh Hoa have lost power.
This is how the coach station in Nha Trang looks like now.
A tree is uprooted in Tuy Hoa Town of Phu Yen Province. Hoi, a 40-year-old local in Tay Hoa District, said he has never seen such a big storm in Phu Yen since 1993.
A street in Tuy Hoa Town.
Source: VnExpress, Reuters