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Storm Matmo strikes south-central Vietnam before downgrading to tropical depression

Thursday, October 31, 2019, 15:14 GMT+7
Storm Matmo strikes south-central Vietnam before downgrading to tropical depression
People clean a street in Quy Nhon City in the south-central province of Binh Dinh after the storm on October 31, 2019. Photo: Huynh Hieu / Tuoi Tre

Tropical Storm Matmo made landfall and wreaked havoc on south-central Vietnam on Wednesday evening before weakening into a tropical depression on early Thursday morning.

The storm, the fifth to hit Vietnam this year, crossed onto the mainland between Binh Dinh and Phu Yen Provinces as it unleashed winds at 75 to 90 kilometers per hour and gusts at up to 130 km/h, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Heavy rains and strong winds lashed localities throughout the region on Wednesday evening.

According to the Phu Yen administration, Matmo caused power outages in 50 percent of the province’s communes and wards.

A large, uprooted tree in Quy Nhon. Photo: Huynh Hieu / Tuoi Tre

A large, uprooted tree in Quy Nhon. Photo: Huynh Hieu / Tuoi Tre

The locality was also at high risk of serious flooding due to the downpour.

The storm sank 18 fishing boats that had been docked at local ports. Fortunately, there were no casualties in the incidents.

In Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, dozens of residents were evacuated to safer areas following a landslide caused by the storm.

Strong wind break glass at an ATM booth in Quy Nhon. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

Strong winds break glass at an ATM booth in Quy Nhon. Photo: Thai Thinh / Tuoi Tre

About 300 students in the district were asked to stay at home on Thursday.

Rough seas caused four ships and their combined 48 crew members to drift out to sea despite being anchored just off the coast of Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province.

In Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, and Da Nang, dozens of trees were uprooted as the storm swept through the province, though the wreckage in the latter two was much less as neither was directly hit by the storm.

Rough seas in Quang Ngai Province on October 30, 2019. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Rough seas in Quang Ngai Province on October 30, 2019. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Storm Matmo eventually downgraded to a tropical depression over the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai as of 4:00 am on Thursday, with wind speeds recorded at 40 to 50km an hour.

The low-pressure system then traveled westward and entered Cambodia the same morning.

Downpours and gusts will continue affecting the south-central and Central Highlands regions until the end of Thursday.

Uprooted trees in Tam Ky City, Quang Nam Province. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Uprooted trees in Tam Ky City, Quang Nam Province. Photo: Le Trung / Tuoi Tre

Torrential rains are expected to move to north-central Vietnam on November 1 and 2 before returning to south-central provinces after November 4.

The downpours are accompanied by an increased risk of inundation, flashfloods, and landslides.

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