HANOI - Vietnam put 500,000 soldiers on standby, readied evacuation plans and ordered vessels to stay in port on Thursday, state media reported, as flood-prone provinces braced for the arrival of Tropical Storm Conson in the coming days.
Conson, which will be the fifth storm to arrive in Vietnam this year, was gaining strength and could impact as many as 800,000 people in northern provinces and trigger landslide, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
It is expected to make landfall early next week.
Conson killed one person in the Philippines and 17 people were missing, authorities said on Thursday. It brought strong rains and caused flooding in central regions, displacing thousands of people.
Citing Vietnam's health ministry, Tuoi Tre said tens of thousands of people who needed to be moved to safer places were living under a coronavirus lockdown and health protocols needed to be observed.
The government has ordered impacted provinces to ban vessels from going to sea and to prepare evacuation plans for people in low-lying areas.
According to Vietnam's meteorology agency, Conson, which has passed through the Philippines, was interacting with another storm, Typhoon Chanthu, and was evolving in a complicated manner.
Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. Natural disasters - predominantly floods and landslides from the storms - killed 378 people in the country last year.
The weather agency said there would be six to eight more typhoons or tropical depressions in the South China Sea this year.
(Additional reporting by Karen Lema in Manila; Editing by Martin Petty)