Vietnam braces for Typhoon Noru as Philippines cleans up in its wake

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Residents who evacuated their flooded homes sit by the roadside after Super Typhoon Noru, in San Ildefonso, Bulacan province, Philippines, September 26, 2022. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

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HANOI, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Vietnam urged more people to evacuate on Tuesday as Typhoon Noru intensified towards the Southeast Asian nation, after causing at least eight deaths and widespread flooding in the Philippines .

Wind speeds reached 183 kilometers per hour on Tuesday evening, the country’s meteorological agency said, adding that Noru was expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday before weakening and heading towards Thailand.

The typhoon forced Vietnam’s airports to shut, causing travel disruptions, while thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes, according to official statements. Wind speeds reached 134-149 km/h early Tuesday, the weather agency said.

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“We are running out of time. The storm is intensifying, so our responses must be stronger and faster,” Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told an emergency response meeting on Tuesday. of disaster.

“The evacuation must be carried out as soon as possible, with the highest priority being people’s lives and property.”

Vietnam’s aviation authority closed nine airports across the country from Tuesday, forcing hundreds of domestic and international flights to be cancelled.

About 270,000 military personnel have been put on standby, the government said in a statement.

The hardest hit areas are expected to be the central provinces of Quang Ngai, home to the Dung Quat oil refinery, and Quang Nam, home to the Hoi An World Heritage Site, the meteorological agency said.

Quang Nam province evacuated more than 133,000 residents, the government said in a statement, while footage from state media VTV showed people fortifying their homes with bricks and sandbags.

Authorities were rushing to secure the country’s coffee-growing areas north of the central highlands region.

In the Philippines, where the Category 3 storm made landfall on Sunday evening, authorities said at least eight people had died, about 74,000 were sheltering in evacuation centers and many more were left without power .

Footage from a local broadcaster showed police cutting down fallen trees that blocked roads in Quezon province, and residents sorting through debris with their hands. Aid workers distributed relief and food in coastal communities, according to footage posted on DZRH’s Youtube channel.

Typhoon Noru, the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, also damaged 1.53 billion pesos ($26 million) in crops, according to government data. Read more

“There are still flooded areas,” Daniel Fernando, governor of Bulacan province, north of the capital, told DZRH. Rice fields almost ready to harvest were damaged beyond recovery, he added.

($1 = 58.92 Philippine pesos)

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Reporting by Phuong Nguyen in Hanoi and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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