Weakening Haiyan continues north to Vietnam, killing more

Typhoon Haiyan continued on its destructive path into Vietnam early Monday, although it had weakened slightly and was later downgraded to a tropical storm.
At least 13 people were killed and 81 injured according to the Voice of Vietnam, the country’s national radio broadcaster.
Gusts of up to 74 mph also left thousands without power, uprooted trees and ripped billboards from their stands after the storm slammed into the country at around 3 a.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) the station reported.

The storm made landfall near the city of Cam Pha in Vietnam, a small city about 100 miles east of Hanoi according to Kevin Noth, a lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel, who called Haiyan, the most powerful tropical cyclone of the year.
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“When it hit Vietnam it was still a typhoon,” he said. “But then it weakened sufficiently to be downgraded to a tropical storm. It is certainly the most powerful tropical cyclone of the year.
“After researching this, we believe that when it hit the Philippines this may have been the strongest ever recorded storm to make landfall,” Noth added. “There have been more powerful storms over the sea, but this could be the strongest ever to hit land.”
The storm had earlier felled trees on the Chinese island of Hainan, Weather.com reported, but it avoided the full brunt of its devastating power as the eye turned south.
The storm is now expected to curve north and northeast across far northeastern Vietnam and into the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China, Noth said, adding that local flash flooding may be a concern.
This has prompted the China Meteorological Administration to issue a yellow warning for rainstorms.
“There will be heavy rain in Guangxi, Hainan, southwestern Guangdong, central and southwestern Hunan, central-northern Jiangxi and southeastern Guizhou,” it said.
The Chinese meteorologists added that they were expecting around four to seven inches of rain in the area in the next 48 hours.
Haiyan is expected to “rapidly weaken” further as it encounters rugged terrain, according to Noth.

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