Thousands of people fled their homes on Saturday as Typhoon Vamco approached, heading towards areas of central Vietnam, already battered by several storms in recent weeks.
Airports have been closed and beaches and fishing prohibited as the typhoon, with its winds blowing at 100 km per hour, is due to make landfall on Sunday, possibly near the former imperial capital of Hue.
The evacuations took place in four central provinces, according to the disaster management authority, and hundreds of thousands more could follow, according to state media.
A series of storms in a few weeks
Central Vietnam has been hit by a series of storms over the past six weeks, causing floods and landslides that have left at least 159 dead, while 70 people are still missing according to authorities.
Due to climatic conditions, more than 400,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Roads and bridges have been washed away, power supplies disrupted, and important crops destroyed, threatening the food security of 150,000 people, the source said.
There has been no respite for the more than eight million people living in central Vietnam, said Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, president of the Vietnamese Red Cross.
Every time they start to rebuild they are hit by a new storm.
Vietnam is regularly affected by natural disasters during the rainy season between June and November, especially the coastal provinces in the center of the country, but the storms have worsened in recent years.
Typhoon Vamco has already struck the Philippines, killing at least 33 people, according to Civil Defense, and more than 340,000 people have been affected by flooding in the archipelago.
Twenty people have been killed in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya, where relief efforts are focused.
Hundreds of people were stranded on the roofs of their homes in the worst affected areas along the Cagayan River, with rescuers unable to reach them due to the strong currents, according to the regional Civil Defense spokesperson.
Large swathes of the region were underwater, with officials calling it one of the worst floods in the area.
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