Noru weakens to a tropical storm after making landfall in Vietnam
By Mike Ives
Tropical Storm Noru was moving across mainland Southeast Asia on Wednesday, hours after making landfall in central Vietnam as a powerful typhoon.
Noru hit the Philippines this week, causing flooding and killing at least eight people, according to officials. From there, it churned west across the South China Sea, coming ashore south of the central Vietnamese city of Danang early Wednesday.
The storm was about 33 miles west of Danang as of 4 a.m. local time Wednesday, according to a warning issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, an agency run by the U.S. Navy. It was forecast to dissipate as it moved further inland.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, though government forecasters warned of potential flooding and landslides in several central provinces over the next few days.
Before the storm arrived, more than 800,000 people in Danang and elsewhere in central Vietnam had been evacuated, and operations were suspended at several airports in the area.
Countries in the western Pacific use the term typhoon to describe tropical cyclones. In the Atlantic Ocean, the storms are called hurricanes.
Noru was producing maximum sustained winds of 92 mph Wednesday morning, making it the equivalent of a Category 1 storm on the wind scale that is used to describe tropical cyclones in the Atlantic.
The links between tropical cyclones and climate change are becoming more apparent. Although warming might not lead to more such storms, researchers have found that it has increased the frequency of major ones because a warmer ocean provides more of the energy that fuels them.