Red Cross supports evacuation as Viet Nam braces itself for Typhoon Nari

Published: 14 October 2013 14:30 CET

By Ly Nguyen, IFRC, in Viet Nam

As communities in central Viet Nam are still reeling from the devastation caused by Typhoon Wutip, the country is bracing itself for the arrival of yet another destructive storm, Typhoon Nari. After leaving 13 dead and affecting close to 750,000 in the Philippines over the weekend, Nari is predicted to make landfall in Viet Nam during the morning of Tuesday 15 October as a category-1 typhoon.

The Van Kieu ethnic family of Ho Van Yen had just finished rebuilding the frame for their house, which collapsed completely after Typhoon Wutip tore through their village. Unable to afford a more durable material, they are using wood, like the previous house had.

“If another storm as strong as the recent storm is to hit, the house probably won’t sustain the force of the wind,” says Yen. “We want to borrow money to build a more stable home, but we are not sure if anyone can help us do that.”

According to a report by the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control, the Da Nang provincial authorities are working on plans to evacuate 11,000 households (55,000 people) before Nari makes landfall. Meanwhile, another four districts (including Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam), the first three of which were affected by Typhoon Wutip just two weeks ago, have also been evacuating their residents to safer areas.

The district of Quang Binh, the district most affected by Typhoon Wutip and still covered in debris, has ordered the evacuation of 27,000 people from seven coastal towns and districts that are at risk of flash floods and landslides. The evacuation of a further 73,000 people is underway in Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam.  

Since 6am today, the Committees for Flood and Storm Control in the provinces between Quang Binh and Khanh Hoa have recalled 44,343 boats and ships to find anchorage.

Early on Monday morning, the Viet Nam Red Cross Society headquarters issued an official letter to their chapters in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang and Quang Nam advising them to be prepared to respond to the eleventh storm to hit Viet Nam during this year’s typhoon season.

Families like Yen’s are still in a state of shock after Typhoon Wutip. The potential damage that Typhoon Nari could inflict on the same communities hit by Wutip will serve as a major setback to their recovery.

“When we told our youngest son, who is studying in Sai Gon, about what happened to the house, he said ‘What’s the point of coming back? There’s nowhere I can stay’,” recounts Yen in tears.

“If the people who were affected by the last typhoon are hit by this storm, they will probably not be able to withstand the combined impact,” says Cao Quang Canh, Chairman of Quang Binh Red Cross Chapter.