Typhoon rips off roofs, cuts power in Vietnam

A typhoon ripped off roofs, felled trees and cut power along Vietnam’s central coastline on Sunday, just days after battering the Philippines.

State-run radio said at least one person was killed in the resort city of Danang, Vietnam’s fourth largest with about one million people, which was taking the brunt of Typhoon Xangsane’s heavy rains and fierce winds as it hit land at about 9am local time on Sunday.

”It is too dangerous to go outside right now,” an official at the flood and storm control centre in Danang said by telephone. ”We have also closed the city to traffic.”

Nearly a thousand houses along the coast had their roofs blown off or damaged.

The storm was centred on Danang but it also hit the nearby historical towns of Hue to the north and Hoi An to its south.

The typhoon killed 76 people and injured 81 as it swept through the northern and central Philippines on Wednesday and Thursday. Officials said 69 were missing and nearly 105 000 in evacuation centres.

Typhoon Xangsane, which means ”elephant” in the Lao language, spurred Vietnamese authorities into a massive evacuation of 200 000 in the central region. Fishing vessels were also called to shore. Danang officials said about 100 boats have been rescued by ships from Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China.

Vietnam Airlines grounded all domestic flights while international flights were re-routed around the storm. The national railway suspended its north-south train service.

Xangsane was a category two typhoon that can carry winds of 154kph to 177kph, downgraded from a category four typhoon on Saturday as it crossed the South China Sea westward to Vietnam from the Philippines.

It was forecast to weaken further over land, but it could still cause serious damage to the mostly rural, densely populated country of 83-million.

National weather forecasters said the typhoon would skirt important coffee-growing areas in the Central Highlands, but that Kontum, the smallest coffee-growing province, would be affected in the next two days. Vietnam is the world’s second-largest coffee grower after Brazil. — Reuters

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Grant Mccool
⚽️Football: RBNY, Liverpool. gegenpressing; STH Red Bull Arena. Maplewood, NJ. Long-time Reuters journalist (not soccer). Opinions my own.⚽️ Grant Mccool has over 396 followers on Twitter.

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