HANOI, Vietnam >> Typhoon Noru weakened into a tropical storm over central Vietnam on Wednesday, causing blackouts and blowing off roofs and billboards with strong winds and putting Thailand on alert for more floods and downpours.
There were no immediate reports of casualties after Noru made landfall south of Da Nang and quickly moved inland. Although losing strength, Noru dumped heavy rains, flooding villages while wind gusts caused damage to homes and uprooted trees, according to state media.
In neighboring Thailand, authorities braced for more flooding as Noru aimed for northern, northeastern and central regions still reeling from seasonal monsoon rains that caused rivers to overflow and filled up dams.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the storm was packing winds of 85 kilometers (51 miles) per hour.
Rain was already falling in Thailand’s northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, one of the areas expected to be worst hit. Authorities urged residents along the Moon River to move to higher ground, and many went to temporary shelters set up in front of the city hall.
Before hitting Vietnam, Noru left at least eight dead when it pummeled the northern Philippines, including a group of five rescuers who drowned while trying to save villagers from rising floodwaters.