HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Residents of Vietnam breathed a sign of relief Monday as Typhoon Haiyan made its way across the border into China, sparing the country the worst of the deadly storm.
The typhoon had landed in in the northern province of Quang Ninh at around 3 a.m. on Monday with sustained winds of 75 mph, the equivalent of a Category One hurricane. While it produced heavy rainfall of up to 12 inches in some areas and strong winds, damage was relatively limited.
Nguyen Linh, a 27 year-old university English teacher in the northern city of Haiphong, where tens of thousands of people had been evacuated on Sunday, said by phone that the rain had stopped and life was quickly returning to normal on Monday morning.
"First, we felt fortunate that [Typhoon Haiyan] didn't come to the middle of the country. And then we were glad that it was smaller than the forecast here. We all heard that it was going to be a very big storm," she said.
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Trees were uprooted, billboards collapsed and roofs were blown off of some houses in Quang Ninh and Haiphong provinces. Heavy rains and wind caused coastal road flooding and power outages, and a 170-foot TV tower was reported toppled in the city of Uong Bi.Local media reported 13 dead as a result of accidents during storm preparations on Sunday, but there were no additional reports of deaths on Monday.
Francis Markus, spokesman for the Red Cross in Vietnam said that the relief agency would not seek to mobilize emergency funding for Vietnam because the impact wasn't sufficiently serious to warrant it.
"It's very lucky that this present storm system has not given rise to huge new needs," he said. "Vietnam had a very lucky escape today."
In southern China, where the weakened remnants of the storm produced heavy rains on Monday, at least six are dead and five missing from Hainan and Guanxi provinces, China's Xinhua News Agency has reported.
The Philippines is still reeling from the destruction that Typhoon Haiyan brought on Sunday. As many as 10,000 people may have died when one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded destroyed entire villages and devastated cities with huge waves and winds of nearly 150 mph.
By Sunday afternoon, many of the more than 600,000 people who had been evacuated from areas across central Vietnam from Phu Yen to Quang Binh provinces were allowed to return home. Vietnam's northern provinces were forced into emergency preparations Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, local media reported that more than 44,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas of Thanh Hoa province, and 80,000 were being evacuated in the port city of Haiphong, the third largest city in Vietnam.
Contributing: Doyle Rice and Doug Stanglin in McLean, Va., William M. Welch in Los Angeles