Tropical storm Wutip slammed Vietnam this morning, packing sustained winds of 73 mph. The fierce storm was downgraded from a typhoon before it made landfall. However, the wind and rain left a path of widespread destruction.
Before reaching Vietnam, the storm sunk two boats near the Paracel Islands. Fourteen men were rescued from the boats. However, at least 75 fishermen remain missing.
Officials lost contact with another boat around the same time. The whereabouts of the third boat are currently unknown.
Authorities warned fishermen and residents to take precautions as the storm approached. Tens of thousands of residents were evacuated and fishing boats were warned to avoid the high seas.
As reported by ABC News, the storm weakened as it hit the Vietnam shore. However, the wind and rain still damaged at least 1,000 homes. Flooding and landslides remain a concern.
Officials report power outages and uprooted trees throughout several districts. Authorities are still assessing damage. However, no injuries were reported.
Typhoons form and strengthen over the warm sea. However, they usually weaken when they make landfall.
This season’s most destructive storm, Typhoon Usagi, killed 33 people in early September.
Tropical storm Wutip is the strongest storm to develop off the Vietnam coast the year. The storm has now progressed toward Thailand.
Government spokesman Teeret Ratanasevi said the military is assisting with evacuations. Many residents are stranded in areas prone to heavy flooding.
As the area already experienced devastating floods, there is concern that heavy rain will only compound the issue. More than 90,000 residents are facing evacuation.
Tropical storm Wutip is slowing and losing strength. However, for many regions it remains a threat. Residents in low-lying areas are urged to be cautious.
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