Vietnam prepare for typhoon Kai-Tak

VIETNAM has put 20,000 soldiers on standby, ordered boats back to shore and begun evacuating local residents as it prepares for Typhoon Kai-Tak to make landfall.

More than 11,000 boats, including 575 used by tourists at the UNESCO world heritage site Halong Bay, have been ordered to stay close to the shore, the deputy head of Quang Ninh province’s flood and storm control department said on Friday.

“Mong Cai town, which borders China, will be directly hit by the storm late on Friday,” Nguyen Cong Thuan told AFP, adding that thousands of residents directly in the storm’s path had been moved to safer areas.

Before blowing away from the Philippines on Thursday, Kai-Tak swept across the main island of Luzon, dumping heavy rain on the Cagayan basin and other areas in the north, killing four people.

Weather forecasters in Vietnam say the typhoon will bring winds of up to 133km/h when it makes landfall.

The Tuoi Tre newspaper reports the Vietnamese army has put 20,000 soldiers, eight helicopters, 72 rescue boats, 400 vehicles and 1000 canoes on standby to cope with any possible incidents.

Vietnam is hit by an average of between eight and 10 tropical storms a year, often causing heavy material and human losses.