August 17, 2018 / 6:18 AM / a month ago

Storm Bebinca weakens as it makes landfall in northern Vietnam

HANOI (Reuters) - Tropical storm Bebinca weakened as it made landfall in northern Vietnam on Friday, flooding some villages in one province but there were no reports of major damage.

Vietnam had put thousands of soldiers on standby, readied evacuation plans and ordered vessels to stay in port on Thursday ahead of the storm.

Bebinca weakened to a low pressure system when it made landfall on Friday morning, but still doused some parts of northern Vietnam with heavy rains.

Nghe An province south of the capital Hanoi received up to 280 millimeters (11 inches) of rain, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said.

The rains flooded homes and cut off road access to some villages in the province, the state-owned Tien Phong newspaper reported.

“Northern provinces need to closely monitor the rain and be vigilant to possible landslides and flash floods,” the meteorological agency said.

The Southeast Asian country is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. Natural disasters - predominantly floods and landslides triggered by storms - killed 389 people in Vietnam last year.

Natural calamities, mostly floods and landslides, killed 88 people and left 24 missing in Vietnam in the first seven months of 2018, according to the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority.

($1 = 23,293 dong)

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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