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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid