Vietnam Evacuates 400,000 People Ahead Of Typhoon

Wednesday, October 3rd 2007, 8:17 am
By: News On 6

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ Disaster officials began evacuating 400,000 people on Wednesday as a typhoon approached Vietnam's central coast, packing winds up to 83 mph.

Typhoon Lekima, which was upgraded from a tropical storm earlier in the day, was expected to make landfall in the central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh later Wednesday, according to the national weather forecast center.

Authorities in Nghe An began evacuating 163,000 people, taking them to schools and government buildings farther inland, said Nguyen Truong Son, a provincial disaster official.

In the neighboring province of Thanh Hoa to the north, the authorities planned to evacuate more than 200,000 people in two coastal districts, provincial disaster official Do Minh Chinh said.

Officials in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces, south of Nghe An, planned to evacuate more than 37,000 people.

The typhoon was expected to bring heavy rain, and forecasters warned of possible flash floods and landslides.

Lekima, named after a Vietnamese fruit, had appeared to be heading toward southern China, where officials evacuated 100,000 people and called 20,000 fishing boats back to harbor. But the storm shifted course for Vietnam, where floods and storms kill hundreds of people each year.