HANOI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense has mobilized nearly 528,000 people, mostly soldiers, to help local residents cope with Bebinca, the fourth typhoon to hit Vietnam so far this year, which has been forecast to make landfall in its northern and central regions on Friday morning.
The ministry has also mobilized 2,700 motorized vehicles, including 35 ships, 148 specialized automobiles and 1,570 common ones, which are ready for potential search and rescue operations, according to Vietnam's National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on Thursday.
Meanwhile, border guards in the country's northern and central regions, from Quang Ninh province to Quang Binh province, have notified and guided over 36,300 ships and boats with a total of 137,700 people on board and 11,300 facilities used for mariculture with 14,700 people to avoid areas potentially hit by Bebinca.
The typhoon is likely to enter coastal areas from northern Hai Phong city to central Nghe An province on Friday early morning and then weaken into a tropical depression later on the same day, Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said on Thursday.
Vietnamese localities are keeping strict surveillance on dykes and reservoirs, and organizing evacuation of local residents in low-lying, coastal, and landslide-prone areas.
Natural disasters, mainly typhoons, flash floods and landslides, killed or left missing 78 people and injured 64 others, destroyed over 740 houses, damaged 18,100 other houses, and damaged 12,600 hectares of rice and other crops, causing property losses of around 1,468 billion Vietnamese dong (63.8 million U.S. dollars) in the first seven months of this year, said Vietnam's General Statistics Office.