(MENAFN) Vietnam has issued a flood warning while downgrading Typhoon Noru to a tropical storm after it struck the central Vietnamese coast near Danang, the country's third-largest city.
Strong gusts rattled high-rise buildings across the central area, toppling trees and ripping roofs from residences, and extensive power outages were recorded.
Wind speeds were projected to reach 183 km/h (114 mph) late Tuesday, although they were lower than expected. Nonetheless, forecasts predicted heavy rain will continue throughout the day, and they warned of landslides and severe floods.
As a result of the storm, about half of Vietnam's airports were closed, as were schools, stores, and offices in numerous central provinces, including Danang. Some neighborhoods were also subjected to curfews.
Nearly 260,000 people were evacuated from their houses, including inhabitants of Hoi An, a renowned tourist destination, who took refuge at a primary school.
“I wanted to leave. My house is not very strong. I am afraid its roof might be blown away when the typhoon hits,” Huynh Mua told AFP, clutching a plastic bag packed of clothing, a blanket, and several packages of instant noodles.
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