Wind and rain lash Vietnam as Typhoon Doksuri hits

People ride a motorbike while the Doksuri storm hits in Ha Tinh province, Vietnam on Sept 15, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

HA TINH (REUTERS) - Typhoon Doksuri lashed central Vietnam on Friday (Sept 15), tearing roofs from houses, knocking out power and causing localised flooding, in the country's most powerful storm in years.

Nearly 80,000 people have been evacuated from coastal regions in preparation for Doksuri. Winds exceeded 130 kilometres per hour, according to Vietnam's meteorological agency.

The state news agency said the roofs had been blown from 260 houses in the ancient city of Hue. Electricity was knocked out in parts of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces after the wind brought down power lines along with trees and billboards.

Four fishing boats sank as they were making their way back to land, state radio said. Many fishermen had dragged their small wooden boats into the streets of coastal towns to try to stop them from being carried away.

Streets in parts of Ha Tinh province were flooded. Airlines said 46 flights were cancelled between the capital, Hanoi, in northern Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, the commercial hub in the south.

Vietnam's disaster prevention committee has said the storm surge from Doksuri could be greater than 2 metres.

There were no immediate reports of deaths on Friday, but one person drowned in central Vietnam on Thursday after flooding caused by heavy rain that preceded Doksuri.

Vietnam often suffers from destructive storms. Floods in northern Vietnam killed at least 26 people and washed away hundreds of homes in August. Last year, more than 200 people were killed in storms.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.