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Typhoon Haiyan hitting Vietnam's northeast

Updated: 2013-11-11 08:57
( Xinhua)

HANOI -- Typhoon Haiyan has landed in Vietnam's northeastern province of Quang Ninh some 120 km east of capital Hanoi, Vietnamese and Chinese observatories reported early Monday morning.

China Meteorological Administration (CMA) posted a report on its Public Weather Service Center's website, which reads that the 30th Typhoon in 2013 named "Haiyan" at 5 a.m. Beijing Time on Monday (2100 GMT on Sunday) is located at 107.3 E 21.1N, which falls at the coastal area of Quang Ninh Province in Northeastern Vietnam. The location also indicates that in the previous hour, Haiyan, before landing, has passed Vietnam's World Heritage site Ha Long Bay, which lies along the coast of Quang Ninh Province.

With central barometric pressure measured at 965 hectopascals ( hPa), Haiyan's peak wind speed reaches 38 meters per second (m/s), according to the CMA report.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) at 4 a.m. local time (2100 GMT) in its report, also located Haiyan at 107.2 E 21.0N. The location also falls in Quang Ninh Province's coastal area.

In the severe tropical storm warming issued by Vietnam's NCHMF, it reads that with Haiyan's arrival, coastal areas in north Vietnam witness force 9 to 11 gales, while parts of Quang Ninh province are confronted with force 13 gale.

Over 100-millimeter rainfalls are expected in parts of Quang Ninh and Lang Son Province, the NCHMF forecast, adding that the NCHMF said, in the coming six hours, Haiyan is to move in the direction between north and northwest, at a speed of around 20 km.

NCHMF's last report at 5:30 local time on Monday (2230 GMT on Sunday) confirmed Haiyan's landing in Quang Ninh Province, with its location at 107.2 E 21.3N. The tropical storm is degrading to tropical low depression in the coming 12 hours, and moving northwards at a speed of 15-20 kilometers per hour, possibly to enter China on Monday afternoon, NCHMF said.

Residents of northern Vietnam localities on Sunday were braced for heavy rains and flooding while and those in coastal areas were asked to take shelter as super typhoon Haiyan moved towards the country after devastating the Philippines, Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA reported Monday.

According to VNA, ahead of Haiyan's landing, about 1,000 households in Ha Long Bay and by the coast dykes in Quang Ninh have been evacuated to higher places.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai toured Hai Phong neighboring Quang Ninh Province to inspect preparations for countering Haiyan. He urged local authorities to promptly call for all fishermen to go ashore and evacuate residents living in coastal areas to safer places.

In capital Hanoi, rain started to fall since Sunday. All soldiers and officials of the Capital High Command were ordered to remain on duty round-the-clock. Districts as well as agencies located in the city were requested to keep a close eye on the development of the storm to make prompt response.

The Hanoi Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control said Sunday that the capital city is expected to suffer rainfall of 200 to 300 millimeters and high risks of wide-range floods and dyke break.

Bui Minh Tang, NCHMF director on Sunday afternoon warned of heavy rain in northern region from Sunday night until Tuesday, and high risks of floods at rivers in northern provinces including Ninh Binh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Hanoi and Hai Phong.

Departments of education in northern Vietnam have decided to close schools on Monday to secure safety for students.

As of Sunday afternoon, Vietnamese media reported 10 deaths as before the typhoon making landfall in the country.

Director of the Center Bui Minh Tang said Friday that if Haiyan is going to strike Vietnam, it will be the strongest storm ever hitting the country.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Friday called on ministries and agencies concerned to do all they can to minimize human and material losses.