Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains have killed five people and forced 70,000 from their homes in central Vietnam, disaster officials and state media said Saturday.
Officials in Quang Ngai province said that the floods forced 64,500 people from their homes in the province, where two people died. They said the military and police are rushing aid and food to people in many villages cut off by the flood waters.
Another 4,500 people were evacuated from their homes in the neighboring province of Quang Nam.
State media reported that three people were killed by flooding in two other central provinces.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said rescue teams were called out at 9.30pm on Friday to evacuate the Vergelegen Mediclinic. Persistent rain had caused the Lourensford River to burst its banks. NSRI teams were called from other towns and brought sea rescue vehicles and jet-ski’s.
Photos on social media site Twitter showed nurses pushing stretchers down a hospital corridor through water knee-deep. By 2.30am on Saturday, most patients and staff had been evacuated.
Lambinon said the NSRI also rescued nine people near Hottentots Holland High School. They were safely transported from the roofs of their flooded homes to higher ground.
“During the operation (the) NSRI witnessed major flooding of residential and business areas of the Somerset West area and flooding of roads with some areas where even street stop signs were buried under water,” Lambinon said.
Disaster risk management officials were providing shelter for those affected, restoring electricity, draining water systems and assessing damage to buildings and roads.
The provincial health emergency medical services team was helping with the treatment and wellbeing of the evacuated hospital patients and those caught in car accidents due to flooding. “NSRI remain on high alert around the Western and Southern Cape to assist the emergency services in affected areas as the severe weather front moves East,” Lambinon said.
On Friday, disaster management centre director Schalk Carstens said the province was on high alert for heavy rainfall at the weekend. The SA Weather Service said heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding was expected on Friday night and Saturday.
The areas at risk were the southern parts of the West Coast, western parts of the central Karoo, the Cape Metropole, Overberg, Cape Winelands and Eden districts. Lambinon urged people to stay away from the sea because of rough conditions.
“The approaching full moon spring tide is also now in effect, coupled with the rough sea conditions. This means extremely strong rip currents and rough, high seas will be experienced over the coming days and shoreline anglers and bathers are also urged to exercise extreme caution, along with the boaters and paddlers, around the coast.”
Some Muscat streets were flooded and traffic moved at a snail’s pace. However, there were no major traffic jams as people stayed home for the weekend.
The Oman Professional League Cup football match final between Seeb and Saham had to be abandoned after the first half as flood lights went off amid the downpour that also flooded the Seeb Football Stadium. The match was scheduled to resume today.
Northern suburbs of Muscat also witnessed heavy rain and strong winds. “The rains accompanied by storm reminded us of cyclone Gonu,” Shailesh Seth, a shop owner in Al Khodh area of Muscat, told Gulf News.
The streets in Muscat are decked out with lights to mark the 43rd National Day on November 18 and lightning and rain made it look even better.
Moderate to heavy rain fell over Batinah region in the north as well as in central Oman. Authorities have urged motorists to be careful while crossing low-lying wadis during rain.
The Directorate General of Weather and Air Navigation has forecast that the rain will subside by Saturday in Muscat.
Damaging winds up to 50 mph are the main threat Sunday afternoon, though the Storm Prediction Center is also warning about the possibility of an isolated tornado.
The Storm Prediction Center has put much of Southern Lower Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, a small part of Eastern Illinois and Northern Kentucky in a “moderate risk” for severe storms — an unusual classification for the region in November.