After lashing the Philippines for several days, killer Typhoon Ketsana gained power over the ocean before slamming into the central Vietnam coastline Tuesday afternoon.
Aid agencies reported that amid flood warnings, some 200,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas to community centers and schools on higher ground. Ketsana’s maximum winds were reported at 167 kph (104 mph) with gusts as strong as 204 kph (127 mph) as it crossed over the South China Sea and approached land. The city of Hue, Vietnam picked up an estimated 13 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period, according to CNN Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado. The global relief agency World Vision said the Vietnamese government had shut down airports, schools and power in the Danang area, three hours from Hue. See iReports from Danang: Strong winds, rain | Winds lash China Beach | Tiles smashed Danang is predicted to be in the eye of the storm. “It’s very windy and trees have already blown down,” said Le Van Duong, World Vision’s emergency response coordinator in Danang. “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.” Are you there Share your story or pictures Ketsana left at least 240 people dead as it passed over the Philippines. Another 37 people were still missing, according to the nation’s National Disaster Coordinating Council. Almost two million people were affected by the killer storm and 375,000 people had been evacuated. See incredible images of flooding in the Philippines The international community rallied Tuesday to help desperate Filipinos in the hopes of avoiding a humanitarian catastrophe.
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Several nations including the United States, Australia, Japan and China have already donated money for relief supplies. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations was considering an emergency appeal for aid as several U.N. agencies pledged support. The World Food Program said it would provide rations to 180,000 people. Flood waters were subsiding in the capital, Manila, which was hit with the heaviest rainfall in 40 years and, at one point last weekend, was 80 percent under water. Watch how people of Manila are coping Manila, on the island of Luzon, and the nearby province of Rizal bore the brunt of the storm. People huddled on rooftops waiting on army helicopters to pluck them to safety. Others used ropes to wade through waist-deep muddy waters.
Power and water supply failed in some areas. Roads were rendered impassable, making rescue efforts challenging. Ketsana is expected to move west across Vietnam into neighboring Laos and Thailand.