6 June 2024

Typhoon Talim reached Vietnam Tuesday after passing through China less forcefully than feared, with no deaths reported in either country despite nearly 260,000 people relocating before the storm hit.

Talim first made landfall in southern China late Monday evening, battering the coast of Guangdong province with maximum winds of 136.8 kilometres (85 miles) per hour.

By Tuesday it had weakened to a tropical storm as it slowly made its way across the Vietnamese island of Bach Long Vi before moving towards the neighbouring Chinese region of Guangxi.

The storm passed by Bach Long Vi, an outlying island east of the capital Hanoi, “with maximum winds of about 60 kilometres per hour” the national weather bureau said Tuesday.

Authorities revoked an evacuation order in the northern port city of Hai Phong, a day after 30,000 people were relocated from there and the province of Quang Ninh.

“People’s activities have returned to normal in the city,” state newspaper Thanh Nien reported.

But Vietnam’s second-biggest airport in Hanoi closed on Tuesday, disrupting hundreds of flights according to local media reports.

Authorities warned that heavy rains, flooding and landslides could still pose a risk in northern provinces after the storm passed.

China’s state news agency Xinhua said Tuesday that nearly 230,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Guangdong ahead of the expected landfall.

Forecasters said strong winds and heavy rains would lash Guangxi until Wednesday, issuing a warning for possible landslides, while authorities closed schools and suspended dozens of train services.

Nine people were injured in Hong Kong during the brief typhoon period, according to the financial hub’s Hospital Authority, while around 112 people sought refuge in temporary shelters.

Ferry services resumed on Monday afternoon and the stock exchange reopened on Tuesday after a storm closure, but city beaches carried red-flag warnings of unsafe conditions for swimmers as huge waves pounded the shoreline.

Laos was also expecting heavy rain and strong winds through Tuesday as Talim moved west, Xinhua reported.

By Agence France-Presse