200,000 evacuated as super typhoon barrels towards Vietnam

Published September 28, 2022
A MAN consolidates the entrance of a hotel in Danang before super typhoon Noru slams Vietnam.—AFP
A MAN consolidates the entrance of a hotel in Danang before super typhoon Noru slams Vietnam.—AFP

DANANG: More than 200,000 people in Vietnam took refuge in shelters on Tuesday as Super Typhoon Noru barrelled towards its central coast, with forecasters predicting the storm would be one of the biggest to hit the country.

Almost half of Vietnam’s airports have been shut, schools and offices across several provinces — including in the busy city of Danang — were closed and residents rushed to find shelter before the expected arrival of the typhoon on Wednesday.

After slamming into the Philippines earlier this week, where it killed six people, Noru is predicted to make landfall as a super typhoon before 11am and then subside to a severe typhoon as it makes its way inland.

Vietnam’s flood and storm control authority said wind speeds would reach 160 kilometres per hour (100 miles per hour), equalling Typhoon Xangsane — which hit Danang in 2006 and killed 76 people.

Authorities said they have evacuated nearly 260,000 people from their homes, including in the popular tourist city of Hoi An, where residents were brought to a primary school.

“I wanted to leave. My house is not very strong. I am afraid its roof might be blown away when the typhoon hits,” Huynh Mua said, clutching a plastic bag full of clothes, a blanket and several packets of instant noodles.

Three hundred houses in the coastal province of Quang Tri had their roofs blown off late Tuesday as winds began picking up speed. In nearby Hue, trees were blown to the ground.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2022

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