Storm Molave, described by authorities as the most powerful storm to hit Vietnam in 20 years made landfall on Wednesday morning, causing widespread blackouts and sinking two fishing boats, state media reported.
Molave made landfall over the central coastal provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai at around 11 a.m. (0400 GMT), bringing wind speeds of up to 135 kilometres per hour and damaging hundreds of buildings.
Widespread blackouts have been reported in the entire neighbouring province of Binh Dinh since 8 a.m.
Just off the coast in the same province, two fishing boats sank on Tuesday night as they tried to seek shelter, with 26 fishermen still missing, according to local media.
The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting warned the storm is especially dangerous because of its speed, intensity and size.
There have been no other reports of human casualties so far.
The Vietnamese government has been deeply concerned about Storm Molave, which strengthened into a category 3 storms as it moved over the South China Sea.
On Monday, state media reported that authorities were preparing to evacuate 1.2 million people along the country’s central coast.
Central provinces from Nghe An to Quang Binh have been told to brace for torrential downpours until Sunday.
With rainfall expected to reach 700 millimetres, the risk of flooding and landslides is extremely high.
Vietnam’s central provinces have already faced historic flooding, with at least 130 killed by floods and landslides between Oct. 6, to Oct. 25, according to reports from Vietnam’s Central Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.