Vietnam evacuates 50,000 ahead of typhoon Durian

from Agence France-Presse
Published on 04 Dec 2006
Vietnam evacuates 50,000 ahead of typhoon Durian HANOI, Dec 4, 2006 (AFP) - Vietnam evacuated tens of thousands of people in the central south Monday as typhoon Durian barrelled toward the coast after triggering a mudslide in the Philippines that killed hundreds.

The typhoon, packing winds of 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour and lashing rains, was expected to hit between Binh Dinh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces later Monday, said meteorologists and officials.

"The evacuation must be completed by Monday morning," said deputy prime minister Nguyen Sinh Hung in an online message on a government website.

He was quoted as saying on state-run Vietnam Television that "local leaders must take full responsibility if the evacuation is not complete before the typhoon arrives or if locals suffer accidents."

State media said many people seemed not to be taking the evacuation seriously as only occasional rains heralded the arrival of the storm.

Communist Vietnam days ago barred fishing vessels from leaving harbour and warned those at sea to avoid the typhoon, which has defied earlier predictions it would weaken as it headed for Vietnam.

Central Vietnam was in October hit by typhoon Xangsane, which killed at least 70 people and brought widespread flooding and destruction.

Typhoon Durian was expected to hit central southern provinces on Monday and Tuesday before crossing the border to Cambodia, forecasters said.

tmh/fz/dla/bgs AFP 040355 GMT 12 06

Copyright (c) 2006 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 12/03/2006 22:56:15

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