Molave was as strong as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds of up to 165 kilometers per hour (103 miles per hour). The storm is expected to cause dangerous rain and strong winds as it hits the mountains of Southeast Asia, causing floods, currents and landslides.
About 310,000 homes were damaged by last week’s floods, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), with the agency warning that an estimated 1.2 million people were “in grave danger and in need of help.”
The IFRC said last week that “an estimated 150,000 people are at risk of food shortages and starvation immediately after the destruction of thousands of hectares of crops.”
Vietnam News Agency reports that Vietnamese authorities planned to evacuate about 1.3 million people before the onset of Typhoon Molave, and the military mobilized about 250,000 troops and 2,300 vehicles for search and rescue operations.
Although October is part of Vietnam’s rainy season, the country is experiencing worse-than-usual weather. Molave is the fourth major storm system to cause landslides in the country this month and the ninth month of this year, according to VNA.
More than 7,200 hectares (17,791 hectares) of food crops were destroyed and more than 691,000 cattle and poultry were killed or swept away by the floods, the VNA reported. Sixteen national highways and 161,880 meters (101 miles) of local roads in four provinces were also damaged. Thousands of homes were submerged.
The storm’s devastation has also affected the livelihoods of many Vietnamese people affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Christopher Rassi, director of the IRFC Secretariat, said in a statement last week: “We are seeing two catastrophic disasters in our eyes as these floods combine with the devastation caused by Covid-19.”