Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Sep 27 (EFE).- The authorities in Vietnam evacuated about 400,000 people on Tuesday and ordered ten airports to be closed in the face of Typhoon Noru’s imminent arrival.
Noru, after causing eight deaths in the Philippines, is approaching the Vietnamese coasts with winds of up to 183 kilometers per hour, according to the country’s meteorological service.
Evacuations were done in the provinces of Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quan Ngai and Binh Dinh, where the effects of the storm were already evident, prompting the authorities to raise the alert to level 4 out of 5 (extreme risk), according to state-owned Vietnam News Agency.
Noru, one of the strongest storms to hit Vietnam in the last 20 years, led to the cancellation of thousands of flights after the closure of 10 airports in the central part of the country.
Noru is expected to make landfall in the coming hours and has already been causing heavy rainfall and waves of up to five meters high along the coast.
The army has put 270,000 troops on alert after Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh instructed the authorities across the country to ensure no human losses from the storm.
The VnExpress newspaper reported that the strong winds and rains were already beginning to wreak havoc and had destroyed some homes, although the eye of the storm was still about 200 kilometers from the coast.
The Vietnamese weather service expects the storm to enter the country along the coasts near Danang during the night and weaken as it moves westward, where it can cause damage to Cambodia and Laos.
Noru is set to be the fourth typhoon to hit Vietnam this year and the strongest so far, with a force not seen since Typhoon Xangsane, which killed 25 people in 2006, destroyed thousands of homes, and caused large scale losses to property. EFE