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BREAKING VIETNAM: TyphoonNoru People WARNED to stay alert to risks from ‘ Flooding & Landslides ‘swept across the country

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#AceWeatherDesk – Vietnam imposes curfew, shuts airports as Typhoon Noru hits country after wreaking havoc in Philippines

Play Video. Duration: 29 seconds
Residents cram on evacuation buses and the elderly are carried out of hospitals to prepare for the intensifying typhoon.

The typhoon made landfall in the early hours of Wednesday, with winds of 120 kilometres per hour in the central province of Quảng Nam, the weather agency told state media.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but photographs posted on social media and on state media showed downed trees and mudslides blocking roads.

The typhoon has now been downgraded to a tropical depression.

The storm tore roofs from homes and caused power outages across central Vietnam on Wednesday.

In Danang, Vietnam’s third-largest city, high-rise buildings shook as the typhoon made landfall.

More than 300,000 people hunkered down in shelters overnight, after forecasters predicted the storm would be one of the biggest to ever hit the country.

Wind speeds were lower than initially feared, but forecasters said heavy rain would continue into the day and warned of serious flooding.

A man rides a motorbike in a flooded street through water that comes about half way up the wheel.
The World Heritage site of Hội An was forecast to be one of the worst hit areas.(AFP: Nhac Nguyen)none

In the popular tourist city of Hội An, the Hoai River was close to bursting its banks, while the ground was littered with metal roof sheeting and fallen trees which had damaged cars and blocked roads.

Around 300 houses in the coastal province of Quang Tri had their roofs blown off  on Tuesday as the wind began picking up speed.

Residents rushed to clean up the debris early on Wednesday, with some shops already open and tourists walking the streets.

The central section of the highway linking Hanoi in the north with commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City in the south was closed.

Military readies 270,000 personnel

Ahead of the storm, Vietnam closed airports, cancelled hundreds of flights, announced curfews and urged thousands of people to evacuate.

People living near the coast where Typhoon Noru made landfall had been ordered to take shelter, with over 800,000 people told to evacuate.

About 270,000 military personnel were placed on stand-by, as Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính urged authorities to expedite preparations.

They have been equipped with armoured vehicles and boats in preparation for rescue and relief operations, state media said.

“We don’t have much time left. The storm is intensifying, so our responses must be stronger and faster,” the prime minister told an emergency meeting on Tuesday.

“Evacuation must be done as soon as possible with top priorities being people’s lives and assets.”

The central provinces of Quảng Ngãi, where a major oil refinery is located, and Quảng Nam, home to the World Heritage site of Hội An, were expected to be worst hit.

Footage from state television showed people fortifying their homes with bricks and sandbags in Quảng Nam province, where a curfew was imposed and more than 133,000 residents were forced to leave their homes.

Local governments ordered curfews also in the popular tourist cities of Da Nang and Huế, while authorities raced to secure coffee-growing areas north of the Central Highlands region.

The meteorological agency said the typhoon had brought winds gusting up to 150 kph early on Tuesday.

Thai authorities prepare for Noru

Noru hit the coastal Quezon province of Philippines late on Sunday causing massive damage. (Reuters: Lisa Marie David)none

Noru was forecast to continue moving inland through Wednesday, passing over Laos before hitting north-eastern Thailand on Thursday.

Thai authorities have warned of heavy rain, and possible flash flooding, and said people living in high-risk areas should prepare to evacuate their homes.

Noru was the strongest storm to hit the neighbouring Philippines this year, and killed at least eight people when it made landfall on Sunday night, flooding farmland and communities and damaging crops, mainly rice.

Footage from a local broadcaster showed police cutting up fallen trees that were blocking roads in Quezon province, and residents sorting through debris with their hands.

In Quezon, about 46,000 people were sheltering in evacuation centres on Tuesday and many more were left without electricity, the Philippines disaster agency said.

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

Vietnam is also vulnerable to destructive storms and flooding because of its long coastline.

Natural disasters — predominantly floods and landslides triggered by storms — killed 139 people and injured 150 others in the country last year, official data showed.

ABC/wires

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