Vietnam battens down the hatches as Super Typhoon Hagupit brewing

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A satellite photo by Vietnam's National Center of Hydrometereology Forecasting shows typhoon Hagupit over the Philippines. A satellite photo by Vietnam's National Center of Hydrometereology Forecasting shows typhoon Hagupit over the Philippines.

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Super Typhoon Hagupit is expected to make landfall in the East Sea between Monday night and early Tuesday, and could combine with a cold spell to trigger downpours in south-central Vietnam several days later, officials said at a meeting Saturday.
The typhoon, which made landfall in the Philippines late Saturday night, has 80 percent chance of moving further to the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea), officials said at the meeting, citing international forecasts.
The storm will pick up gusts of winds of around 110 kilometers per hour, no longer a super typhoon, and will weaken at sea, they said.
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai called the meeting with the National Center for Hydrometeorology Forecasting to instruct typhoon preparations.
Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the center, said at the meeting the typhoon could combine with a cold spell, causing rainfall of 200-400 mm in south central Vietnam, which includes the resort towns Nha Trang and Phan Thiet, on December 11 or 12.
Cuong said it will be moving toward Vietnam at 10 kph.
He said Hagupit has been moving in a route quite similar to Haiyan, a category 5 super typhoon that tore through the central Philippines in November 2013 before razing northern and central Vietnam.
Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, asked local authorities to order their boats to seek refuge by Monday evening.
Cities and provinces in target areas should be ready to evacuate people from low and coastal areas, Phat said.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai (C) chairs a meeting on December 6, 2014 to instruct preparation work as Super Typhoon Hagupit is expected to trigger downpours in south-central Vietnam. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
Hagupit, which means “whip” in Filipino, reached Super Typhoon status with sustained winds near 240 kilometers per hour.
The typhoon carried a 125 kmp peak sustained wind as it landed in Samar in central Philippines Saturday night.
Bands of heavy rain lashed Samar and Leyte, including Tacloban which is yet to recover from last year’s category 5 super typhoon Haiyan.
The Philippines evacuated more than 650,000 people to safer ground as of early Saturday evening and stockpiled food, according to the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Flights were canceled.
Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded on land, left more than 7,000 dead or missing and more than four million homeless or with damaged houses when it tore through the central Philippines in November 2013, according to Reuters.
Typhoon Haiyan also left 14 people dead in northern and central Vietnam.

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