News / Asia

    Weakened Typhoon Less Destructive than Feared in Vietnam

    A taxi negoiates a flooded coastal road at Ha Long city, in the north-eastern coastal province of Quang Ninh, after the passage of the typhoon Haiyan, Nov. 11, 2013.
    A taxi negoiates a flooded coastal road at Ha Long city, in the north-eastern coastal province of Quang Ninh, after the passage of the typhoon Haiyan, Nov. 11, 2013.
    Marianne Brown
    As the Philippines reels from the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, many in Vietnam are breathing a sigh of relief as the impact of the weakened storm is less than they had feared it might be.
     
    With wind speeds estimated between 118-133 kilometers per hour, weakened Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Vietnam’s northern coast at around 5:00 am Monday local time.
     
    Reports said the tropical storm ripped off roofs, uprooted some trees and caused blackouts in some areas. No casualties have been reported since the storm hit, however officials have said that ten people died in the run-up to the storm, most of them killed by blown off roofs as they were attempting to secure their homes.
     
    Boat trips were suspended in popular tourist destination Ha Long Bay, but were expected to resume Tuesday. A report on local news channel VTV said 800,000 people had been evacuated across northern and central provinces.
     
    Michael Annear, Vietnam director for the Red Cross, praised the government for preparing people for the storm.
     
    “The government [did] an excellent job in terms of early warning systems and monitoring storms such as this as well as evacuations. This is shown with the great number of lives that were saved and the reduction in the loss of lives from a number of years ago,” said Annear.
     
    Although the initial destruction appears to be slight, experts say floods in the aftermath of the storm could take a considerable economic toll. The region is an important area for shrimp farming and tourism.
     
    Annear said it is now up to the government to get aid out quickly to people who need it. Those most vulnerable to the storm are those living below or near the poverty line.
     
    “With storms such as this, they get knocked back quite readily and it’s often a double impact, because they may have been able to service some loans to be able to help with their business or with their farm work… they are able to pay in normal times, but when they meet a storm they go back one or two steps,” said Annear.
     
    Haiyan was originally thought to be headed for Vietnam’s central provinces; around 500,000 people were evacuated, mostly in Quang Nam province, on Saturday.
     
    Caroline Mills, a British travel writer living on the coast near Hoi An, a UNESCO heritage site in the province, said on Saturday the army helped many move to government shelters, which were mostly schools.
     
    Although the mood was calm, Mills said her neighbors were worried about the financial impact of the storm, as many were still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Wutip last month.
     
    “Most of our neighbors live in quite basic houses, so quite a lot of them were badly damaged, they lost their roofs and things. Most of them had got them ready, just about watertight again although there were some still repairing,” said Mills.
     
    As the course of the storm changed, residents in central Vietnam were allowed to go home.
     
    Mills said many of her neighbors are fisherman and were not allowed to take their boats out over the weekend because of the storm, which added to their financial worries. However, as the skies clear and life gets back to normal, the predominant feeling is relief.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora