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Vietnam braces for typhoon Nari
October 15, 2013
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HANOI: Vietnam began evacuating more than 180,000 people on Monday from coastal areas in the path of Typhoon Nari, which killed 13 people and caused widespread damage in the Philippines over the weekend.

Nari is expected to slam into central Vietnam on Tuesday morning, after ripping off rooftops, toppling trees and triggering flash floods in the northern Philippines over the weekend.

“Very strong winds are expected from later on Monday. There might be heavy rains of up to 20 inches over the next few days,” said Bui Minh Tang, head of Vietnam’s national weather forecast centre.

Authorities in the central provinces of Thua Thien Hue and Da Nang were moving roughly 66,000 people in vulnerable coastal area to safety, according to the state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Boats have been urged to seek shelter and food has been prepared for residents in case of prolonged flooding, reports said.

Vietnam is hit by around eight to 10 tropical storms every year, often resulting in loss of life and heavy material damage.

Last month Typhoon Wutip left a trail of destruction in the communist state, ripping the roofs off nearly 200,000 houses and leaving several people dead, according to state media. Forty people have been killed in flooding in Vietnam since early September, according to an official toll.

Earlier, a major clean-up operation was under way in the Philippines on Sunday after Typhoon Nari pounded the archipelago’s north, leaving 13 dead, as authorities issued a storm warning for the east of the country.

The military, along with civilian relief workers, struggled to clear roads of toppled trees and power pylons as they rushed to restore vital lifelines wrecked by Saturday’s storm.

“The general situation is getting better, but it would take some time to clear the roads of fallen trees and (electrical) posts,” civil defence office spokesman Reynaldo Balido told reporters.

He said power and telecommunication facilities had been restored in affected areas, although some cities and towns in five provinces on Luzon, the country’s most populous island, were without electricity.

Typhoon Nari, the 19th storm to hit the disaster-prone country, tore into the country’s northeast coast early on Saturday and cut a westward path through the farming regions of Luzon.

Thirteen people were killed as the storm ripped off roofs of homes and buildings, toppling trees and triggering flash floods and landslides before blowing away into the South China Sea. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Sunday morning that some agricultural areas remained inundated, although the waters were subsiding.

“The sun is already out, and we should be able to normalise in a few days,” Balido said.

Many of the more than 43,000 people displaced by the storm had also begun returning home as the government lifted all storm warnings there, he said.

However, the state weather bureau issued a warning for the country’s east. It said Tropical Storm Wipha was 1,460 kilometres (900 miles) away and could reach Philippine seas by Monday.

The bureau added that Wipha was expected to move northward and not directly hit the Philippines but Balido said authorities were not taking any chances.

Agence France-Presse

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