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Vietnam May Evacuate 0.5m People Before Powerful Typhoon Noul Hits Tomorrow

Typhoon Noul, the fifth to hit Vietnam this year, is expected to make landfall between Quang Ngai and Quang Binh tomorrow.

VnExpress reports that authorities in central provinces are making preparations to evacuate half a million residents from at-risk areas.

Mai Văn Khiêm, direct of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, told the news source that he expected Noul to strike the coast with maximum wind speeds of 135 kilometers per hour (km/h), while forecast models from the US, Japan and Hong Kong placed wind speeds at 130 km/h.

Provinces in the storm's path are expected to receive extremely heavy rain and damaging winds, with landslides posing a major threat in mountainous areas.

In preparation for the storm's arrival, the Ministry of National Defense has mobilized over 300,000 soldiers, police officers and civilian volunteers to help people secure their homes or evacuate.

Over 500,000 people may face evacuation orders, while students in Da Nang, who only returned to school last week due to the city's COVID-19 outbreak, will likely be sent home.

Trần Quang Hoài, deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention, further warned that Noul will make landfall around high tide, increasing the threat of intense flooding.

This morning, Zing reported that the storm had picked up speed, moving at 20 km/h, and is also expected to further strengthen before making landfall. Its increased rate of movement means that Noul will likely make landfall tomorrow morning, with the exact impact location still uncertain.

Nonetheless, it is clear that residents of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang and Quang Nam are in for a rough couple of days and need to take safety precautions as soon as possible.

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