Super typhoon Haiyan pounds Philippines, targeting Vietnam next

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After battering the Philippines Friday and leaving at least 100 dead, super typhoon Haiyan has hovered above the East Sea, internationally known as South China Sea, early Saturday and is set to hit Vietnam early Sunday.

Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the strongest storm ever to hit land, was barreling out of the Philippines on Saturday after it flattened houses, triggered landslides and floods and knocked out power and communications across a number of islands, Reuters said.

More than 100 people were killed in the major Philippine coastal city of Tacloban, whichtook the brunt of the typhoon, CNN quoted local authorities as saying Saturday.

That death toll in Tacloban was the first significant casualty report in a day when authorities began surveying the devastation of the typhoon, the CNN report said.

Haiyan, a Category-5 typhoon, had weakened after hitting land at least five times in the Philippines, but weather forecasters said it could strengthen again as it passes over the East Sea before heading to Vietnam on Sunday, Reuters said.

The center of Haiyan will land again Sunday morning near the Vietnamese cities of Da Nang and Hue, according to CNN.

Bui Minh Tang, director of the Vietnam's National Center for Hydro Meteorological Forecasting, said it would be the strongest storm that has hit Vietnam in the last ten years..

It will center at a site 250 kilometers north-northwest of Song Tu Tay Island (or Southwest Cay) in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

The center estimates that sustained winds of 150-183 kilometers per hour are likely near the eye of the storm.

Haiyan will go northwest along coastal central provinces and cities at a speed of 20 kilometers an hour in the next two to three days, the center predicted.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Friday urged authorities in north-central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Nghe An to mobilize all available resources to ensure safety for the people and minimize any possible damage to be caused by the typhoon.

Dung asked the local authorities to call all boats ashore and ban boats from operating at sea Sunday. He also called for swift evacuation of people from coastal and flood-prone areas.

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