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Parts of Asia are cleaning up after Typhoon Noru

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Typhoon Noru has made landfall in Vietnam two days after causing at least eight deaths and widespread flooding in the Philippines. It was the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, and officials in Vietnam feared it would wreak havoc in low-lying areas there, but so far, there are no reports of casualties. NPR's Michael Sullivan reports.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN, BYLINE: As Noru battered the Philippines, Vietnam readied itself, canceling hundreds of flights and ordering the evacuation of more than 400,000 people from the most vulnerable areas, while others hunkered down and prepared for the worst. In central Quang Tri province, along the coast, resident Le Thi Nga told state-run VTV she'd learned from a previous storm two years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LE THI NGA: (Through interpreter) We hadn't prepared anything when the big flood hit in 2020. This year, we built a mezzanine floor to shelter us from storms and floods.

SULLIVAN: She stacked sacks of rice and valuables up on that mezzanine to keep them safe as well, as she prepared to wait out the storm. It came ashore early this morning in Quang Nam province with heavy rain and winds that gusted to nearly 100 miles an hour. Storm chaser James Reynolds of Earth Uncut TV was in the historic tourist destination of Hoi An when Noru hit. He posted this video tweet after the storm had passed.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMES REYNOLDS: Walking through town, there is a lot of tree debris lying in the streets and roads blocked, power lines down. But thankfully, most of the buildings appear to have managed to got through the storm in one piece with only superficial damage here and there. But most importantly, the flooding situation - well, I'm down here in the old town by the river. And yes, it has burst its banks, but it mostly seems to be confined to near the waterway, which if is the case elsewhere means that the flooding is a lot less severe than was originally anticipated.

SULLIVAN: And that appears to be pretty much what happened all over - Vietnam apparently dodging a bullet after the National Committee for Disaster Response had warned Noru would be the strongest typhoon to hit the country in decades. By mid-morning, it had been downgraded to a tropical depression, but it's still expected to bring heavy rain and possible flooding in Laos and here in Thailand later today.

Michael Sullivan, NPR News, Chiang Rai.

(SOUNDBITE OF PORTICO QUARTET'S "ART IN THE AGE OF AUTOMATION") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Michael Sullivan is NPR's Senior Asia Correspondent. He moved to Hanoi to open NPR's Southeast Asia Bureau in 2003. Before that, he spent six years as NPR's South Asia correspondent based in but seldom seen in New Delhi.