Damrey becomes strongest typhoon in 16 years to make landfall in southern Vietnam
For the latest information on the rising death toll in the wake of Typhoon Damrey, please click here.
Even after landfall, Damrey will continue to pound portions of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with flooding rain into Sunday, local time.
Damrey made landfall in southern Vietnam with the equivalent strength of a Category 2 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic oceans. Landfall occurred between Tuy Hòa and Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm on Saturday morning, local time.
At least 19 deaths has been attributed to the cyclone while 12 others remain missing in Vietnam.
Damrey may be the strongest typhoon to slam into southern Vietnam, south of Qui Nhon, since Typhoon Lingling in November 2001. Lingling was the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane just prior to making landfall near Qui Nhon.
Widespread wind damage, prolonged power outages and some structural damage are expected in Ninh Hòa, Nha Trang and Cam Ranh in the wake of landfall.
Winds will continue to slacken as Damrey moves inland and weakens into Sunday.
The heavy rain and risk for life-threatening flooding and mudslides will target not only the Vietnamese communities along the path of Damrey into Sunday, but also farther north into central Vietnam and the neighboring mountains of Laos.
While gusty winds may be strong enough to cause sporadic damage westward into Cambodia, localized flooding downpours and travel disruptions are expected to be the main threat as Damrey tracks from Cambodia to southern Thailand into Sunday.
These areas can expect 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) of rain with local amounts over 400 mm (16 inches).
Residents should prepare for possible evacuations due to flooding. Raging flood waters may damage and close roads and bridges, threatening to cut off some mountainous communities from receiving aid.
Additional downpours may follow later in the weekend, with the heaviest rain focusing on central Vietnam and Laos, as moisture continues to stream onshore.
Another surge of moisture on the heels of Damrey may bring additional heavy rain to central Vietnam early next week, threatening to trigger more flooding and disrupt cleanup efforts.
The downpours may interfere with world leaders flying in for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, being held in Da Nang from Nov. 8 to 10.
Before it became a tropical storm and was named Damrey, the cyclone unleashed more than 300 mm (12 inches) of rain on parts of northern Visayas and southern Luzon in the Philippines earlier in the week.
At least two people died in a landslide, according to The Manila Times.
The present-day typhoon is not the only Typhoon Damrey to target Vietnam. In September 2005, a typhoon of the same name triggered landslides and flooding in northern Vietnam. At least 57 people were killed, according to reports from AFP.
The majority of the lives were claimed in the hard-hit province of Yen Bai.
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