Typhoon Ketsana Carries Deadly Rampage Over to Vietnam

( [email protected] ) Sep 30, 2009 01:54 PM EDT

Typhoon Ketsana roared into central Vietnam on Tuesday, killing at least 23 people as it brought flooding and winds of up to 90 mph, disaster officials reported.

Ketsana, which left more than 200 dead across the northern Philippines as a weaker tropical storm, forced some 200,000 Vietnamese locals to evacuate from its path.

“It's very windy and trees have already blown down," reported Le Van Duong, World Vision's Relief and Disaster Mitigation Coordinator, from the city of Danang, which is predicted to be the eye of the storm.

"We have seen the evacuation of 3,000 families from our project areas to safer places, including schools and we have already distributed noodle packs to 700 families," he added.

World Vision, which operates 12 community-level projects working with more than 25,000 children and their families, has already prepositioned relief supplies to assist those most impacted by the storm.

According to Danny Selvanayagam, national director of World Vision Vietnam, World Vision works closely with the government and local authorities to ensure that those in the paths of storms receive early warnings through various means, including radio, TV and community loud speakers.

“We believe the communities we work in are well prepared for disasters,” reported Selvanayagam.

“We feel that people were made well aware of the approaching typhoon and World Vision is well geared up to respond to any suffering that may result," he added.

Currently, Vietnam’s Ministry of Defence is on standby for rescue and logistics while international NGOs are coordinating together to handle the response. The government has also asked the international agencies to be on standby.

Meanwhile, staff with World Vision are also working to address the needs of thousands of survivors in Manila, the Philippines, after the storm devastated the city.

On Tuesday, the death toll in northern Philippines from the typhoon rose to more than 246 with 38 missing.

Ketsana, which scythed across the northern Philippines on Saturday, dumped more than a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours, causing the country's worst flooding in 40 years. The storm strengthened into a typhoon mid-Monday and crashed into Vietnam's central coast on Tuesday.