(VOV) - Typhoon Haiyan, packing destructive winds of nearly 200kph, weakened a bit and changed its course, heading towards the north-central and northern coastal provinces.
At 09.30am on November 10, Haiyan was about 200km off the central coast from Quang Ngai to Thua Thien-Hue provinces, and was churning along the central coast to the north.
The typhoon was downgraded a bit, with winds gusting between 130-160kph near its centre. It is expected to weaken further before entering the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf, according to weather experts.
As Haiyan changed its direction, central coastal provinces, which are normally hit by the majority of tropical storms every year, do not bear the brunt of a super storm.
However, the typhoon, with its destructive winds, will still ravage the central region. It will also dump heavy rain on the northern delta, including capital Hanoi, with a rainfall of up to 300mm.
Nearly 500,000 people living in high-risk areas have moved to safe grounds. Danang city alone has directed more than 177,000 people, including students and workers, to move to concrete buildings.
Offshore fishing vessels have been directed to return to locks or storm shelters. A fishing ban has been also imposed in coastal provinces from the central to northern regions.
Four people have been killed and 38 others injured in Quang Ngai province before Haiyan makes landfall.
The province has evacuated 128,000 residents, including 35,000 in Binh Son district. It has also stockpiled 116 tonnes of rice and 8,500 boxes of instant noodles to be supplied to local residents in the event of severe flooding.
In Thua Thien-Hue province, rising river water levels and high tides have inundated several places, negatively affecting local people’s lives. Flooding will be severer when provincial dams and reservoirs are discharging water due to saturation.
Rising floodwaters swept away a resident and submerged more than 540 houses in Quang Dien district. In Quang An commune, floodwaters cut off most inter-communal roads, with some sections 1m deep under water.
Although Haiyan is forecast not to directly pound the central region, residential evacuations are being hastened in coastal and mountainous areas in Ha Tinh province.
The province has enhanced communications campaigns to prevent evacuees from returning to their homes at the height of the storm, and deployed plans to protect evacuees and their property in the new residential places.
Ha Tinh has so far evacuated 40,700 residents, mostly in coastal districts from Nghi Xuan to Ky Anh. Soldiers, border guards, policemen and young volunteers helped people reinforce their houses and public works to minimise casualties and property damage.
Rain is pouring down in the capital city of Hanoi which is often badly flooded when heavy rains fall.