Tuesday , May 28 2024

Central Vietnam islands ban water traffic ahead of storm Noru

Two islands popular among tourists in central Vietnam, expected to be the first in storm Noru’s firing line, have banned boats and ships from entering them.

Nguyen Huu Doan, director of the management board of Sa Ky Port in Quang Ngai, said Monday that all vessels have been banned from entering the province’s Ly Son Island because of strong winds.

The Sa Ky-Ly Son waterway spans around 30 km and would take around 30-45 minutes to traverse. There are around 5-8 trips made each day. During tourism seasons, the island receives around 2,000 visitors every day.

“The suspension of vessels also means that the island would be isolated. We’ve prepared enough food and medicine ahead of the storm,” said Dang Tan Thanh, deputy chairman of the Ly Son District People’s Committee, adding that over 500 vessels belonging to Ly Son’s residents have been brought to safety.

In Quang Nam’s Cham Island, about 15 km away from the mainland and 20 km from Hoi An, Pham Thi My Huong, chairwoman of the Tan Hiep Commune People’s Committee, said she has instructed boats that carry tourists to stop operating starting Sunday afternoon. Around 200 vessels of residents have also been docked safely on the shore. Some vessels were brought onto the land in case the waters rose.

“When storms come, Cu Lao Cham is often affected heavily. Rising tides, strong winds and rough seas. Our people depend on fisheries for a living, so all of us want to protect our vehicles,” said Huong. The island currently has 610 families with around 2,200 people and over 1,000 people have been evacuated to safety.

Storm Noru, one of the strongest storms in the last two decades to hit Vietnam, is approaching the Paracel Islands with a wind speed at 149 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. It was mainly moving west-northwest at 20-25 kph on Monday, and would be about 250 km from the Paracel Islands as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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