The most powerful storm to pound Vietnam in more than a year has brought heavy rains and potentially widespread damage to coastal towns and villages, according to Save the Children.
Aid workers from the children’s charity are now ready to meet the needs of Vietnamese children and their families as news from coastal communities lashed by Typhoon Son-tinh starts to emerge.
The Category 1 typhoon pounded the northern coastline of Vietnam in the early hours of Monday morning, bringing winds in excess of 200kmph and torrents of rain. Early reports indicate that 7.3 million people could be affected, with the provinces of Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa and Ninh Binh worst hit.
Save the Children’s Vietnam Country Director Huy S. Pham said, “We experienced damaging winds as the typhoon approached but the extent of the damage is still unclear. This was the biggest storm of the year so far and it could be life threatening. The typhoon hit in the early hours of the morning and it moved in a different direction than what was predicted so many people weren’t prepared.’’
“Our staff work in the worst affected regions such as Hai Phong and Thanh Hoa and we stand ready to respond once we know the extent of the damage. What we do know is that children are always the most vulnerable in a disaster and we stand ready to respond to their needs.”
Mr Pham said Save the Children has 2,000 household kits, 900 hygiene kits and 2,000 education kits ready to be distributed to children and their families in the affected areas, and awaits the authorities’ official call for assistance from disaster relief agencies.
Save the Children has been working in Vietnam for nearly 25 years and has been among the lead responders to natural disasters in the country.
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