It has been reported (26th October) that Vietnam was preparing to evacuate almost 1.3 million people as Typhoon Molave (also known as Quinta) heads towards the country. The typhoon has already seen wind speeds of 125km per hour (77mph) and gusts of up to 150kph (93mph)
Typhoon Molave is expected to hit Central Vietnam on Wednesday after causing flooding and landslides in the Philippines where 25,000 were evacuated from their homes in Luzon leaving 2 dead and 13 missing.
Central Vietnam has already been impacted by three major storms during October which have resulted in the deaths of at least 130 people in the region with 18 missing. In one incident 22 soldiers are reported to have been killed when a landslide buried their barracks in Quang Tri.
Tropical Storm Linfa was the first storm to hit the area on 10th to 13th October, followed swiftly by Tropical Storm Nangka on 14th to 16th October and Tropical Depression Ofel on 17th October. These storms all followed heavier than average rainfall in the area in early October as part of the seasonal monsoon.
The flooding and landslides already experienced in Central Vietnam are said to be the worst in decades. According to Vietnam Red Cross 274,001 houses have already been flooded or damaged, 14,097 hectares of agricultural land has been damaged and 767,073 livestock have been killed or swept away.
Vietnam Red Cross Society have been working hard to support affected communities. They have warned that the floods already experienced are the worst seen in decades and are “dealing a staggering blow to the livelihoods of millions of people already reeling from hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
They are sending food, safe water and other essentials into the worst affected areas as the relief effort is stepped up. They estimate that at least 160,000 people will need food in the next 5-6 months.
Vietnam Airlines have been providing free relief transport as well as assisting those fleeing the area. Financial aid has been forthcoming from a number of sources including:
- US$400,000 (approx £306,878 or 9.2 Vietnamese Dong) from Taiwan
- 297,349 Swiss Francs (approx £251,442, US$327,831 or 7.6 billion Vietnamese Dong) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
- US$300,000 (approx £230,158 or 6.9 billion Vietnamese Dong) from the South Korea Government
- US$200,000 (approx £153,273 or 4.6 billion Vietnamese Dong) from the United States Agency for International Development
- US$100,000 (approx £76,748 or 2.3 billion Vietnamese Dong) from the China Red Cross
- US$100,000 (approx £76,748 or 2.3 billion Vietnamese Dong) from the United Nations and Save the Children Vietnam
- AU$100,000 (approx £54,665, US$71,323 or 1.6 billion Vietnamese Dong) from the Australian Government
There are concerns that financial hardships already being experienced due to COVID-19 by many of those affected by floods and landslides will send many people into poverty. Damages caused to the area may also further impact the areas ability to reopen safely once mass foreign tourism restarts.
The World Bank reported last week that 35% of settlements in Vietnam, totaling 11.8 million people, were located on crowded and eroding coastlines that were at risk from flooding.
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