Vietnam, China Brace as Typhoon Haiyan Continues Destruction

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    (CNN) — Thousands of people have been evacuated from China’s resort city of Sanya, in Hainan Province, as Typhoon Haiyan continued to wreak havoc in south Asia Monday morning.

    The storm, which has already claimed up to 10,000 lives in the Philippines, moved through the South China Sea over the weekend toward southern China, hitting Vietnam.

    Government agencies have advised for extra vigilance if traveling to Vietnam or China, with the storm expected to continue for the next few days, moving northeast into Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China.

    Philippines recovery

    Flights and airports have started to reopen in the Philippines. “All airports except Tacloban have resumed normal operations already,” tweeted the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

    The airport at Tacloban, the most badly affected town in the Philippines, has started to receive and send limited commercial flights too, according to the CAA.

    The storm, a category five as it moved over the Philippines with gusts of up to 235 miles per hour, shut down at least a dozen airports and hundreds of flights, crippling the travel industry in the central part of the country.

    China and Vietnam prepare

    It is not expected to affect Vietnam or China as badly, though preparations are underway to limit damage as what is now a category one storm arrives.

    Some 17,300 passengers have been affected by canceled or delayed flights at Sanya Phoenix Airport in Sanya on the resort island of Hainan in southern China, according to state-run news agency Xinhua. Thousands more have been evacuated, the agency said.

    But the airport has stated that by the end of Monday, November 11, all stranded fliers will have departed.

    In Vietnam, there are so far no reported air travel disruptions, with both Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport reporting business as usual.

    Typhoon Haiyan

    Referred to locally as Typhoon Yolanda, the monster storm is one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded.

    Haiyan was not expected to directly hit the capital, Manila, farther north, but some of the country’s most popular islands for tourists, including Boracay and Bohol, were in the storm’s projected path, and tourists and residents were evacuated.

    A number of governments warned against travel to certain areas of the Philippines because of the typhoon, including Britain, Australia and Canada.

    The U.S. Embassy in Manila issued an emergency message to U.S. citizens, advising them to monitor the storm on TV, radio or websites including PAGASA (the government’s weather forecasting agency) or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

    Undersecretary Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokeswoman in the Philippines, had this advice: “Follow instructions of the local authorities especially when they give the signal to evacuate to higher ground/designated evacuation areas.

    “Limit unnecessary travel and stay inside your hotel. Weather updates and advisories are constantly disseminated by @dost_pagasa.”

    The Official Gazette posted a list of emergency hotlines.

    Twitter hashtags #RescuePH and #ReliefPH were set up to share information or tweet calls for help.

    A number of government agencies were also active on Twitter: @dswdserves, @ndrrmc_opcen and @govph.

    For flight cancellations and safe sea travels, the @DOTCPhilippines and @CAAP_Operations Twitter accounts were regularly tweeting updates, flood and traffic updates in Metro Manila were posted on @MMDA.

    As airports reopen, airlines are resuming operations to affected areas.

    Philippine Airlines (PAL) has started reinstating flights from Manila to Kalibo, Pudong, Hangzhou and Busuanga.

    “PAL/PALex passengers with flights to typhoon-affected areas may rebook their flights within the next 30 days from the original flight date, with rebooking fees and fare difference waived,” said the statement.

    For more information on flights, visit www.philippineairlines.com.

    Cebu Pacific

    On Friday morning, Cebu Pacific canceled approximately 125 round-trip domestic flights and four round-trip international flights from November 8 to 10.

    “Travelers affected by these cancellations may rebook their flights for travel within 30 days, free of charge,” said the statement issued by the airline. “They may also reroute to the nearest alternate airport, or opt for full refund or full travel fund.”

    This includes flights to or from Cebu, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Iloilo, Bacolod, Kalibo, Caticlan (Boracay), Roxas, Dumaguete, Legazpi, Naga, Virac, Puerto Princesa, Busuanga (Coron), San Jose, Siargao, Surigao, Pagadian, Butuan, Ozamiz, Cagayan de Oro and Dipolog.

    The airline has not yet issued a statement on the resumption of operations.

    TigerAir

    Tiger Air canceled all domestic flights on Friday, as well as its international flight from Kalibo to Singapore.

    Flights via Clark International Airport to Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok were operating.

    “Passengers are advised to rebook without penalties for travel within 30 days from original flight,” said the statement. “They are also requested to call TigerAir Philippines hotline at 798-44-88 for further details.”

    AirAsia/AirAsia Zest

    The following Philippines’ AirAsia and AirAsia Zest flights were canceled on Friday, November 8.

    • Manila-Cebu-Manila route with flight nos. PQ 7489/7488.

    • Manila-Kalibo-Manila flight nos. Z2 272/273 and Z2 713/714.

    • Manila-Tagbilaran-Manila route with flight nos. Z2 354/355, Z2 352/353, and z2 350/351.

    • Manila-Iloilo-Manila route with flight nos. Z2 310/311.

    • Manila-Cebu-Manila route flight nos. Z2 384/385 and Z2 771/772.

    • Manila-Bacolod-Manila route flight nos. Z2 330/331.

    • Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila route with flight nos. Z2 348/349 and Z2 340/341.

    Those affected will be offered a free flight within 14 days on the same route, subject to availability; full credit, valid for 90 days; or a refund, said a post on its Facebook page.

    The AirAsia hotline in the Philippines is 02-742-2742, Mondays-Sundays, 7 a.m.-11p.m. Travelers can also inquire about their flights by messaging the AirAsia Twitter feed, @askairasia.

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