Haiyan makes landfall, weakens into depression

(VOV) - Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Haiphong and Quang Ninh early on November 11, uprooting big trees, ripping off house roofs and causing blackouts in many places.

Hayian, packing winds of 117kph when making landfall, was considered the most powerful storm that has hit Quang Ninh and Haiphong for years.

Travelling further inland, the storm weakened into a tropical depression and changed its direction heading towards China.

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The storm has battered Quang Ninh province for the past few hours, dumping heavy rain on coastal localities.

There are no reports on human casualties.

Haiyan, with howling winds of more than 100kph, knocked out power and communications, peeled off many roof sheets, and downed many big trees in Ha Long and Cam Pha cities, and Van Don district.

Widespread blackouts were reported in a number of places in the province.  

Strong winds knocked down a 50-m radio antenna tower in Uong Bi city. 

In Haiphong city, the storm, accompanied with heavy rain and strong winds, felled big trees, and blew away giant advertising boards.

All pumping stations were mobilised to operate around the clock to prevent severe flooding in the inner city.

Dilapidated residential quarters had been reinforced and local people had been evacuated before Haiyan hit.

The storm caused a blackout in the island district of Cat Hai. Three fishermen were isolated in the cut-off Go Dong area in Hai An district, and they are due to be rescued to border guards on November 11.

Typhoon Haiyan makes landfall in evening

Destructive typhoon Haiyan has weakened a bit after travelling along the central coast, and is forecast to slam into the northern delta in the evening.

At 05.00pm Haiyan was about 270-330km off the central coast of Thanh Hoa and Quang Ninh provinces, packing winds of 149kph near its eye.

In the next 12 hours, the storm will be moving north-west at a speed of 30km and battering the Red river delta provinces.

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At 04.00am on November 11, the storm will be sweeping across the north-eastern provinces, with winds gusting between 62-88kph.

It will then change its course and weaken further before heading towards China.

“The storm is forecast to strike the area between Thai Binh and Haiphong, sweep across Bac Giang, Haiphong, and Quang Ninh, and then change its direction towards China,” said Bui Minh Tang, director of the Central Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre.  

Hanoi plans evacuations ahead of typhoon Haiyan

Leaders of the capital city has requested all districts draw up residential evacuation plans after typhoon Haiyan changed its direction and is forecast to strike the northern delta, including the city.

At an urgent meeting on November 10, weather experts said Haiyan will rip through Hanoi early on November 11, bringing heavy downpours to the capital.

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Heavy rain is likely to cause severe flooding in Hanoi

With a rainfall of 200-300mm, severe flooding will inundate large parts of Ba Vi, My Duc, Chuong My, Phu Xuyen, Thanh Tri, Thanh Oai, and Me Linh districts.

Weather experts even warned these districts of landslides and dyke breach.

Nguyen The Thao, Chairman of the Municipal People’s Committee, asked the districts to put evacuation plans in place in case of emergency.

Top priority is given to protecting residents’ lives and their property, he said.

He asked municipally-run agency leaders to inspect prevention work in high-risk areas and deploy standby forces to work around the clock.

Districts vulnerable to severe flooding need to lower water levels at dams and lakes to ease flooding pressure on the inner areas, said Thao.

The municipal trade and healthcare sectors reported they have prepared 6 million packs of instant noodles, millions of litres of drinking water, and loads of medicine for people in possibly flooded areas.

Haiyan likely to slam into north-central region

The north-central province of Thanh Hoa is stepping up the evacuation of nearly 45,000 residents from coastal areas before typhoon Haiyan is forecast to make landfall late on November 10.

The evacuation order was released by the provincial Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control at 08.00am following news Haiyan is likely to batter the north-central region instead of the central coast.

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Residents in Quang Xuong, Tinh Gia, Sam Son, Hoang Hoa, Hau Loc and Nga Son were ordered to move to safe areas.

Thirteen task forces have fanned out to high-risk areas to help with evacuation due to be completed at 06.00pm the same day.

Police and military forces are not put on standby to deal with the worst possible scenarios. 

Hundreds of policemen, soldiers, militiamen and people were racing against time to reinforce dyke sections in Hau Loc district which is vulnerable to severe flooding.

Tens of thousands of sand bags had been transported and piled up to make a defence line against high tide surges that could breach the local dyke system.

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New prevention plans have been made after Haiyan changed its direction

Weather experts said Haiyan changed its course and was travelling west-northwest towards the northern delta.

The storm will move past the coast from Nghe An to Nam Dinh provinces late on November 10 and directly pound Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, and Thai Binh early on November 11.

Border guards of coastal provinces from Quang Ninh to Kien Giang have kept nearly 86,000 fishing vessels with 390,000 fishermen on board up to date on the storm’s track to seek storm shelters.

Haiyan, accompanied by heavy rain, will cause severe flooding in the low-lying areas and threaten saturated dams and reservoirs in the north.

An average rainfall of 200-300mm will pose a big threat to these dams and reservoirs, especially those in mountain areas, said Vu Van Tu, an official of the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control.

Provinces from Nghe An to Phu Yen have evacuated more than 600,000 residents to safe areas. 

(To be continued...)