Making news

Cold spell hits northern, central regions

Another cold front arrived earlier on December 11, plunging the northern region into the coldest days so far this winter and bringing rainfall to central Vietnam after disastrous downpours over the weekend.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said that in the morning, the northeastern region could already feel the presence of the cold snap as temperatures dropped to 11-14 degree Celsius (9-11 in uplands areas) and wind speeds picked up.

The northernmost province of Ha Giang is readying measures to protect its 293,000-strong cattle herd from the wintry temperatures, including consolidating livestock housing and ensuring there is enough grass and other dry food for the cattle.

The cold spell, expected to last for three days, will reach other areas in the north and north-central region later December 11 before moving further south.

Rains ranging from light showers to thunder storms, accompanied by damaging winds, hail and tornadoes, can also be expected, especially in central provinces of Nghe An and Phu Yen.

Inundation in flatlands and urban areas is likely while residents of the mountainous areas need to be on watch for landslides and flash floods, the national weather forecasting agency said.

Tourists and locals have been told to avoid Son Tra peninsula, a popular tourist destination in the central coastal city of Da Nang, as the mountainous roads are at high risks of landslides.

Phan Minh Hai, deputy head of the Son Tra management board, said landslides have hit 20 locations on the peninsula. Falling soil and toppled trees have blocked the flow of traffic to various sites in the area.

A meeting of the Da Nang People’s Council, scheduled to run from December 11-13, was pushed back to next week as the area deals with the consequences of earlier flooding and braces for the incoming cold spell.

However, water levels in various hydropower reservoir lakes across the province are still below operating levels, a rare occurrence during the rainy season.

Downpours over the weekend left one 21-year-old man in Huong Tra township of Hue missing and 20ha of crops in several communes of Quang Dien district submerged. A number of roads in Hue remain waterlogged, hindering traffic.

The southern region also experienced the lingering impact of the previous cold spell from the north, as HCM City this morning witnessed a thunderstorm that brought 40-50mm of rainfall – a significant amount given it is currently the dry season.

Cold air will likely continue to push southward, clashing with warmer air and likely bringing extreme weather events, weather authorities said.

Hoang Phuc Lam, deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, said the central region would continue to face more widespread rains in December.