Typhoon Rammasun hammers northern Vietnam’s province; another storm brewing

Powerful storm Rammasun caused damage of at least US$94,000 to northern Quang Ninh Province when it struck the locality on Saturday morning, while no fatalities were reported

A house in Mong Cai City, northern Quang Ninh Province, suffers heavy damage caused by typhoon Rammasun that hit the locality on July 19, 2014.

Northern Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province suffered damage worth at least US$94,000 but there were no fatalities when powerful tropical storm Rammasun swept through the locality on Saturday, local authorities said.

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Nearly 100 households had their roofs blown off and many others were cracked or knocked down during the typhoon that hit the province, which borders southern China, early in the morning.

The storm, packing gusts as strong as 102 kph, also uprooted more than 200 trees on streets and caused landslides in many areas in Ha Long City, the provincial capital.

Local authorities had earlier evacuated about 2,000 households from vulnerable to safe places, but after the typhoon made its landing, the city continued to move a number of families out of the dangerous areas, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents reported from the scene.

By yesterday afternoon, the typhoon had caused damage totaling around VND2 billion ($94,000) in the province, local authorities estimated.

No fatalities were reported during and after the typhoon thanks to the locality’s good preparations, said Pham Minh Chinh, secretary of the provincial Party Committee.

However, four people, including a tourist, were slightly injured during the storm, an official said.  

Following its landing, the storm weakened into a tropical depression and dissipated later in mountainous areas bordering China, according to the Vietnam National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center.

Affected by the storm, many northern provinces have suffered downpours and water levels have risen in many rivers in Quang Ninh, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Ha Giang and Lao Cai Provinces, posing risks of inundation and flashfloods, the center warned.

Before lashing Quang Ninh, typhoon Rammasun struck the Philippines first and then China’s Hainan Island, causing mass devastations and killing at least 77 people in the Southeast Asian country and eight on the Chinese island, the center said.

New storm Matmo

As super typhoon Rammasun is dissipating in northern Vietnam, a new tropical storm, Matmo, has started forming southeast of the Philippines and strengthened into a typhoon (equivalent to hurricane-strength in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific basins), the Vietnam National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center and some international weather agencies reported.

Matmo is moving at a speed of 20 kph, packing maximum winds of 133 kph and squalls of 150-183 kph, the center said.  

During its course, the typhoon may cause heavy rain and subsequent flooding across Mindoro and western Luzon of the Philippines before entering the East Vietnam Sea, according to accuweather.com.

Typhoon Matmo is gradually gaining strength and will track to the northwest in the general direction of Taiwan, according to the same website.

The Philippine President’s spokesperson has called on people to make preparations to cope with heavy rain to be caused by the typhoon, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The tropical storm was forecast to head northeast, skirting Luzon before hitting the sparsely populated Batan island group between Luzon and Taiwan early on Tuesday, according to AFP.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center has released a forecast that storm Matmo will likely strike Taiwan as a typhoon at about 00:00 GMT on Wednesday, July 23.

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