Cyclone Molave – the fourth tropical cyclone to threaten Vietnam this month – is barrelling towards the country’s central coast, worsening severe floods and landslides that have inundated parts of the region for weeks.
Vietnamese authorities are rushing to evacuate half a million people before Molave makes a projected 28 October landfall, packing wind speeds topping 110 kilometres per hour. The country is already struggling with intense floods and landslides that have killed at least 130 people and damaged a quarter of a million homes.
The Vietnamese Red Cross has already warned that 160,000 people may need food aid over the next six months, but that figure could rise after Molave makes landfall and its impact becomes more clear.
Aid groups say parts of Vietnam are seeing their worst floods and landslides in two decades. Disasters are common during Asia’s various monsoon seasons, but this month’s flurry of storms has aggravated conditions, with weeks of extended heavy rainfall.
Parts of Laos and Cambodia are also submerged. And Thailand is projecting that Molave's rains will hit the country’s north and northeast.
Before threatening Southeast Asia’s Mekong region, Cyclone Molave uprooted some 25,000 people in the Philippines earlier this week.