Vietnam escapes worst of Typhoon Haiyan

Houses damaged and several people missing after storm that left thousands dead in the Philippines makes landfall.

    The storm caused some damage but no casualties were reported [AFP]
    The storm caused some damage but no casualties were reported [AFP]

    Typhoon Haiyan has made landfall in Vietnam, days after leaving thousands feared dead and widespread devastation in the Philippines, meteorologists confirm.

    The national weather forecaster said Haiyan made landfall in northern province of Quang Ninh at 5:00am local time on Monday (22:00 GMT on Sunday) as a tropical storm. It was moving towards southern China and is expected to weaken to a low depression later on Monday.

    Downpours hit the capital, Hanoi, and houses in some northern provinces were damaged by strong winds.

    "Several hundred houses had their roofs ripped off. Thousands of trees in the province were uprooted," said Nguyen Cong Thuan, a disaster official in Quang Ninh province.

    "Three people were reported missing," he added.

    National disaster officials said no deaths had been reported so far on Monday, although state media said five people had died during preparations for the typhoon.

    Thousands evacuated

    Haiyan has weakened significantly since scything through the Philippines at the weekend, and had sustained winds of 120km per hour as it hit Vietnam. That was down from winds of over 300km per hour when the storm hit the Philippines, devastating Leyte and Samar provinces, as well as other areas.

    More than 600,000 Vietnamese were evacuated from their homes at the weekend as Haiyan bore down on Vietnam.

    The storm changed course on Sunday, prompting further mass evacuations of about 52,000 people in northern provinces by the coast.

    "People must bring enough food and necessities for three days.... Those who do not move voluntarily will be forced," online newspaper VNExpress said, adding all boats have been ordered back to shore.

    All schools were ordered shut in the capital Monday and extra police were dispatched to redirect traffic in flood-prone areas.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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