HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam on Thursday was bracing for Typhoon Doksuri, which is expected to be the most powerful tropical cyclone to hit the Southeast Asian country in several years.
Doksuri swept through the Philippines on Tuesday as Tropical Depression Maring, killing at least four people and leaving another six missing. It strengthened to a typhoon with sustained wind speed of up to 135 kilometers per hour (84 mph) and gusts of up to 185 kilometers per hour (115 mph). It's expected to make landfall in central Vietnam Friday, according to the Vietnamese national weather forecast center.
Forecasters warned of heavy rains, floods and landslides in some northern and central parts of the country.
Speaking at an emergency meeting Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung ordered the evacuation of people in high-risk areas.
He also ordered operators of fishing, transport and tourist boats and vessels to take shelter or move out of the typhoon's path, and banned ships and vessels from sailing to the sea, the government reported on its website.
State-run online newspaper VnExpress, quoting officials in the central provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, said more than 100,000 people were being told to evacuate.
The typhoon forced the cancellation of dozens of flights to and from the central region, it said.
Vietnam, a country of 93 million people, is prone to floods and storms that kill hundreds of people each year.