Vietnam evacuating low-lying areas as strong typhoon nears
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - Vietnam struggled to evacuate more than a million people in its central lowlands on Tuesday as a major typhoon approached while some regions are still grappling with the aftermath of recent murderous floods.
According to the official Vietnam news agency, typhoon Molave is expected to penetrate the southern central coast of Vietnam on Wednesday morning with sustained winds of up to 135 kilometers per hour. The typhoon left at least 3 dead and 13 missing and displaced more than 120,000 villagers in the Philippines before flying to Vietnam.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered provincial authorities late Monday to prepare for the evacuation of approximately 1.3 million people in regions on the path of the typhoon.
“We have to stay vigilant to protect people's lives. That is the very important task of getting people to safe places, ”Phuc was quoted as saying in an emergency meeting with officials in charge of disaster relief.
Those living in vulnerable, low-lying areas will move to more stable inland shelters. The number of people to be evacuated may decrease as the typhoon path becomes safer.
Phuc voiced fears that Molave, the latest disruption to threaten Vietnam this month, could be as deadly as Typhoon Damrey, which struck the country's central region in 2017, killing more than a hundred people.
The central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Hue were badly hit by severe floods and landslides, killing 136 people and missing dozen earlier this month. Heavy rains are expected in the still flooded and isolated region, according to Vietnam News.
In the Philippines, most people who left their high-risk communities during the storm returned home after the weather. A small number of evacuees whose homes have been destroyed or blown away will stay in evacuation centers longer until they find new accommodation.
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