HANOI, Sept 30, 2011 (From AFP) - Thousands of people in Vietnam sought shelter as a powerful tropical storm barrelled towards its northern coast on Friday, after killing 43 people in the Philippines and slamming into southeast China. Beijing, which had issued its first red typhoon alert of the year, downgraded Typhoon Nesat to a "strong tropical storm" as it slowed at sea, after forcing 300,000 people to evacuate on the tropical island of Hainan. Gale force winds and torrential rain continued to lash China's southeast coast on Friday and high winds buffeted Hanoi, where forecasters said Nesat would hit Vietnam's northeast coast in the afternoon. In the Philippines, tens of thousands of people battled neck-deep floodwaters after Nesat's deadly path across Luzon. The government there said nearly a million people had been affected by the flooding and that another typhoon, Nalgae, was forecast to dump more rain across the main island of Luzon from Saturday. Severe floods have also devastated swathes of Southeast Asia, with eight people, mostly children, reported dead in Vietnam's southern Mekong Delta provinces. Unusually severe monsoon rains have killed almost 190 people in Thailand over the past two months and claimed more than 100 lives in Cambodia.
Envisat views of Typhoon Nesat
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