Vietnam braces for typhoon Molave

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Hannoi: Vietnam is rushing to ensure more than half a million people were out of harm's way, ahead of the arrival of a powerful typhoon set to dump more heavy rain on a central region devastated by weeks of intense weather.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled and schools closed in affected areas on Tuesday as typhoon Molave approached over the South China Sea, packing wind speed of up to 165 km/h and expected to make landfall early on Wednesday.

People move fishing boats to a safer place ahead of the arrival of typhoon Molave in Danang, Vietnam.Credit:VNA/AP

Molave will be the fourth storm to hit the south-east Asian country this month, deepening a crisis in its central region that has seen 130 people killed in floods and landslides and many still missing.

State media cited the disaster agency as saying some 572,000 people would need to be evacuated by 5pm (9pm AEDT) on Tuesday. On Monday, the government said it was preparing to evacuate nearly 1.3 million people from risky areas.

State broadcaster VTV showed footage of the military helping the elderly onto buses and directing boats to come ashore, while residents and soldiers piled sandbags on roofs to secure them from the approaching strong winds.

Typhoon Molave caused widespread flooding in the Philippines on Monday.Credit:AP

Molave struck the Philippines at the weekend, causing flooding and landslides and killing at least three people, with 13 still missing on Tuesday, the disaster agency said.

Vietnamese Prime Minister has compared Molave to typhoon Damrey, which killed more than 100 people and caused property damage of about 22 trillion dong ($1.3 billion) in central Vietnam three years ago.

People remove beach cabanas ahead of typhoon Molave in Danang, Vietnam. The storm is expected the hit tourism areas hard.Credit:VNA/AP

Molave is forecast to hit tourism infrastructure along central beaches and the Dung Quat refinery in Quang Ngai province. Heavy rain is forecast also for the coffee-growing Central Highlands.

Coffee traders said it would hamper the harvest, which starts in October, and delay the drying process of the beans.


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