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453,000 soldiers mobilized to cope with super typhoon

Saturday, November 09, 2013, 11:19 GMT+7
453,000 soldiers mobilized to cope with super typhoon
Thousands of fishing boats are seen at a docking area for shelter from the coming typhoon in Tinh Gia District, Thanh Hoa Province

Vietnam has mobilized over 453,000 soldiers and militiamen, and thousands of means of transport to cope with typhoon Haiyan that is forecast to hit central region early Sunday, the National Committee for Search and Rescue reported on Friday.

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The strong force and he over 5,000 transport facilities including 12 planes, 356 ships, 2,388 motorboats, and 2,680 automobiles have been mobilized from many provinces and cities, mainly in central Vietnam, the committee said.  

The Defense Ministry has sent urgent messages to military units in Central Vietnam asking them to be ready to assist local authorities and other relevant agencies in coping with the coming typhoon that is considered the world’ strongest storm ever observed.

Military Zone 5 has sent two teams to Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Da Nang to examine preparations for search and rescue activities when necessary. It has also set up six command centers in Quang Nam, Da Nang, Quang Tri and Binh Dinh.

Border guard forces in the coastal region from Quang Ninh to Kien Giang provinces have informed more than 85,000 boats with over 385,000 crewmembers on board about the typhoon’s movements and asked them to take urgent safety measures.  

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Friday chaired an online meeting with local authorities in the region from Thanh Hoa to Ca Mau Provinces to discuss effective measures to cope with the storm.

All possible forces and efforts must be made to ensure people’s safety while minimizing property damage, he said.

At 7 am ICT today, November 9, the typhoon was centered at 12.5 degrees latitude north and 116.7 degrees longitude east, 290 km east-northeast of  Song Tu Tay Island, part of the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, with winds as powerful as 150-163 kph together with squalls of over 220 kph, the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting reported.

The typohoon is moving toward central Vietnam and is forcast to first hit the coastal region from Quang Ngai to Thua Thien-Hue provinces at about 4 am Sunday before moving along the central region to sweep through several other provinces including Quang Tri and Ha Tinh.

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