Residents travel by boat on Thursday on a street flooded by Typhoon Ketsana in Vietnam's central city of Hoi An. ((Reuters))

Asia had little respite Thursday from an already brutal storm season, with warnings the next tempest was en route to the Philippines and the death toll from the previous typhoon reaching 386.

Officials were preparing compulsory evacuation plans for tens of thousands of people in the Philippines as they watched Typhoon Parma track toward the country with winds gusting up to 210 km/h.

A decision on the evacuations would be made in the next day or so, Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral said, urging refugees from the existing disaster to halt any plans to return home and stay in shelters.

Civilian agencies have also been ordered to stockpile food, water, medicine, fuel and other relief supplies.


Residents receive relief goods as mud still covers roads inside their village in Rodriguez, Philippines, on Thursday. ((Aaron Favila/Associated Press))

Parma could be more powerful than Ketsana, which left the Philippines' capital of Manila awash Saturday and then cut a destructive path across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

"We are dealing with a very strong typhoon … there is a big possibility that this typhoon will gather more strength," Nathaniel Cruz, the Philippines' chief weather forecaster, said of Parma.

Parma was 440 kilometres off the Philippines on Thursday afternoon, heading for the coast north of where Ketsana hit. It was expected to hit on Saturday, but was already bringing rain to eastern provinces..

'Super typhoon'

Cruz said Parma could strengthen into a "super typhoon," a designation given to storms with sustained winds exceeding 200 km/h. It was carrying less rain than Ketsana, but the stronger winds could be very destructive, he said.


A man transports his child in a basin through flood waters brought on by Typhoon Ketsana near Manila on Thursday. ((John Javellana/Reuters))

World Vision, a non-government agency helping people in all weather-affected countries, said the new storm could hamper aid delivery.

"Families are now just starting to pick up what was left of their lives," said Elnora Avarientos, World Vision's chief in the Philippines. "Now, I'm afraid …Typhoon Parma would make it a lot harder for the affected families to cope and for the relief … agencies to respond."

The storm could still change course and miss the Philippines, Cruz said.

"I hope the typhoon will hit another place," said Glen Juban, whose family was washed from the roof of their shanty by floodwaters last Saturday. Juban, his wife and son,13, survived but his four-year-old daughter drowned.

"We've been hit so hard," he said. "The situation now is just so difficult and I don't know if we can take some more — another calamity."

Officials in Vietnam raised the death toll from Ketsana to 92 on Thursday. Cambodia's rose to 14. The storm was deadliest in the Philippines, with 280 killed.

Steady rain fell in Manila on Thursday after several days of clear skies, making conditions miserable for more than two million people whose homes were lined with slushy mud by the worst flooding in four decades.

In Cambodia and central Vietnam, rescuers picked through the remains of houses that were blown down or buried in landslides, and villages remained cut off by mud-blocked roads and the worst floods in decades.

Villages in central Vietnam remain cutoff because of the storm.

In Siem Reap province in Cambodia, streets are still awash with floodwaters and schools and businesses remain closed.