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Published on : Tuesday, November 12, 2013
More than 600,000 people were evacuated as super typhoon Haiyan bore down on Vietnam, authorities said Sunday, after the storm smashed through the Philippines leaving thousands feared dead and widespread devastation.
Residents of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi were braced for heavy rains and flooding, while tens of thousands of people in coastal areas were ordered to take shelter ahead of Haiyan’s expected landfall late Sunday.
“We have evacuated more than 174,000 households, which is equivalent to more than 600,000 people,” an official report by Vietnam’s flood and storm control department said.
“This is one of the challenges going ahead,” Michael Annear, Red Cross country representative said, adding that heavy rain and flooding were likely to hit Hanoi.
Many of the capital’s residents were rushing to stock up on food and water before the storm hit.
“I ran to the supermarket to buy instant noodles, vegetables and meat for the family,” said office worker Nguyen Thi Uyen, 33. “There was not much left on the shelves…people are worried, buying food to last them for a few days.”
All schools will be shut in the capital Monday and extra police will redirect traffic in flood-prone areas. In the northern port city of Hai Phong, which is also expecting heavy rain and flooding, residents said they were struggling to prepare.
In Hainan’s Sanya city, a major tourist resort, more than 13,000 people were evacuated and over 400 boats called back to port, state media said. More than 200 flights at Hainan’s two airports, in Sanya and Haikou, were cancelled or delayed, reports said.
The Meteorological Administration is forecasting the typhoon will move towards China’s southern region of Guangxi. The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicts Haiyan will make landfall in Vietnam before crossing the border into China.
China announced yesterday its highest alert for Typhoon Haiyan as six crew members of a cargo boat were reported missing.
The China Meteorological Administration hoisted the “red” signal, the highest in its four-tier warning system, as the typhoon brushed the southern island province of Hainan.
Six people were lost at sea after the mooring rope of their vessel was cut in the storm, causing the ship to drift away, the official Xinhua news agency reported.