Typhoon Vamco is hurtling towards Vietnam, expected to make landfall early Sunday, after leaving 53 dead in the Philippines, making it that country’s deadliest storm this year.
Packing winds of up to 165 kph (103 mph), Vamco is forecast to hit a swathe of Vietnam’s central coast from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai province, the government’s weather agency said Saturday.
“This is a very strong typhoon,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, warning provinces in Vamco’s projected path to prepare for its impact.
The provinces planned to evacuate 468,000 people by the end of Saturday, according to state media citing the government’s disaster management authority.
Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. Vamco will be the 13th storm to hit the Southeast Asian country this year, where more than 160 people have been killed in natural disasters triggered by a series of storms since early October.
“There has been no respite for more than eight million people living in central Vietnam,” said Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, president of the Vietnam Red Cross Society. “Each time they start rebuilding their lives and livelihoods, they are pummeled by yet another storm.”
In the Philippines, coast guard and disaster agencies scrambled on Saturday to rescue thousands in a northern province after the 21st cyclone to hit the Philippines this year tore through the main island of Luzon late on Wednesday and early Thursday.
On top of the known fatalities from the storm, another 52 were injured and 22 left missing, according to the Philippines police and army.