Workers remove fallen trees following the passage of Typhoon Nari in the central coastal city of Danang yesterday.
HANOI: Typhoon Nari slammed into central Vietnam early yesterday, killing five people, ripping roofs of homes and damaging roads, state media reported.
The storm, which claimed 13 lives in the Philippines over the weekend, tore through the communist country’s central region — from the tourist town of Hue to Quang Ngai to the south, Vietnam Television reported.
Schools were closed in Danang city, which bore the brunt of Nari when it hit packing winds of up to 133km an hour.
More than 122,000 people had been moved to safe ground in several provinces, including Quang Nam and Danang city, by late Monday before Nari tore through the Unesco-listed ancient capital of Hue, the official Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
They were shifted to makeshift shelters in public buildings away from vulnerable coastal areas, according to authorities.
Vietnamese weather forecasters said the typhoon had crossed the border to Laos by noon.
Nari is the 11th tropical storm to hit Vietnam so far this year. Last month Typhoon Wutip left a trail of destruction, damaging nearly 200,000 houses and killing several people.
Forty people have been killed in flooding since early September, according to official figures.
Soldiers were sent to help people reinforce their homes and guide ships to shelter in Danang, a famous tourist destination, state-run Voice of Vietnam radio said. More than 2,000 passengers were stranded when national carrier Vietnam Airlines cancelled 22 flights to and from Hue and Danang city on Monday and Tuesday morning and delayed another eight yesterday.
The central region is exposed to the sea and often hit during the storm season between July and October. Nari did not affect the Central Highlands, Vietnam’s coffee belt, which lies further to the south.
“Danang looks like a battlefield,” resident Nguyen Thi Lan said. The city is popular with foreign tourists for its pristine beaches.
“Signboards have blown down, roofs have been ripped off, trees have been torn up,” she said, adding that parts of the city were left without electricity.
Residents said it was biggest typhoon since 2006, when Typhoon Xangsane barrelled through the region, killing some 250 people in the Philippines and Vietnam.
Photographs from the area showed streets strewn with the twisted wreckage of hoardings torn down by high winds, while residents picked through the debris of their homes.
More than 1,000 tourists have been forced to extend their holidays until the weather improves and they are able to leave, the Saigon Economic Times said.
“The tourists are all safe,” said local official Tran Chi Cuong, adding most of the area’s beach resorts had not been badly affected. Agencies