HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Vietnam’s central coast appeared to have been spared the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan’s deadly force as the weakened storm made landfall Monday.

The typhoon crossed into northern Vietnam on the coast of Quang Ninh province around 3 a.m., with sustained winds of 75 mph, the equivalent of a Category One hurricane, according to Vietnam’s National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The storm packed gusts reaching up to 98 mph. Local media reported that it is the strongest storm ever to hit Quang Ninh, which is home to Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s premier tourist attractions.

Trees were uprooted, roofs were blown off of houses, and power outages and coastal flooding were reported in Quang Ninh and Haiphong provinces. Heavy rains lashed the cities of Haiphong and Halong, and a 170 foot tall TV tower was reported toppled in the city of Uong Bi.

As the storm moved inland, its intensity lowered to a tropical storm, with winds dropping to 55 mph by 5:00 am. It was forecast to continue tracking in a northern direction and turn northeastward, reaching the border with China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region around 1 p.m, becoming a tropical depression with winds of about 30 mph as it traverses the mountainous terrain of northwestern Vietnam.see more

source: usatoday