Vietnam imposes curfew, mass evacuations ahead of Typhoon Noru

Authorities have urged 400,000 people to leave their homes as the typhoon is set to make landfall early on Wednesday.

Two people carrying supplies outside a primary school being used as a shelter during Typhoon Noru in Hoi An in Vietnam's Quang Nam province on September 27, 2022 [Nhac Nguyen/AFP]

Vietnam has imposed a curfew and ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes as a powerful typhoon that left at least eight dead in the Philippines is set to hit Vietnam’s central region.

People living near the coast where Typhoon Noru is expected to make landfall early on Wednesday had been ordered to take shelter, national television VTV said on Tuesday.

Schools have been closed and public events cancelled.

“We don’t have much time left. The storm is intensifying, so our responses must be stronger and faster,” Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at an emergency disaster response meeting on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Evacuation, he said, must take place “as soon as possible”.

Approximately 270,000 military personnel have been placed on standby, the government said in a statement.

In Danang and Quang Nam provinces, a curfew will be in effect starting Tuesday evening. It forbids people from venturing out except those on official duty, the TV station reported.

Flights at five regional airports have been cancelled and train service halted until the typhoon passes.

The weather agency said Noru, which is expected early on Wednesday, had recorded maximum sustained winds of 180km/h (111 mph).

Authorities have urged 400,000 people to leave their homes, including in the popular tourist city of Hoi An.

In Danang, Vietnam’s third-biggest city, all shops and hotels were closed, while residents have been banned from going out on the streets from late Tuesday.

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation said on Tuesday it was already working with local authorities to plan mitigation of the typhoon’s impact on agricultural communities by distributing cash and other assistance.

According to data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, located in Hawaii, Super Typhoon Noru will be only the sixth major typhoon to hit Vietnam since 1945.

Typhoon Noru
A tattered Philippine flag is seen over a flooded road from Typhoon Noru in San Miguel town, Bulacan province, Philippines, on September 26, 2022 [Aaron Favila/AP]

Noru hit the Philippines’ main island of Luzon on Sunday and Monday, toppling trees, knocking out power and flooding low-lying communities.

Five rescuers were killed after being sent to help residents trapped by the floods, while another man died in a landslide.

Nearly 80,000 people had been moved to emergency shelters, some forcibly, across Luzon, where many villages were flooded.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies