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Vietnam braces for arrival of Parma

Vietnam has evacuated 30,000 people from their homes in preparation for the arrival Wednesday of tropical storm Parma, which is fading in strength after leaving more than 300 dead in the Philippines and China.

Vietnam has evacuated 30,000 people from their homes along the country's northern coast in preparation for the arrival Wednesday of tropical storm Parma, which is fading in strength after leaving more than 300 dead in the Philippines and China.

Vietnam's government weather service said it expected Parma to be downgraded to a tropical depression as it moves along the coastline of northern provinces Wednesday evening.

While rains have been reported in the region, major flooding is not expected on the same scale as the flooding that struck the Philippines almost two weeks ago when Parma first hit.

Parma killed 375 people in the Philippines and left 48 others missing as it lingered along the island country's coast for a week after first hitting on Oct. 3. Earlier this week, Parma moved to China's Hainan islands, killing three people there.

The region was already reeling from a previous storm, Typhoon Ketsana, which first hit the Philippines on Sept. 26, causing widespread flooding and landslides that killed more than 400 people in four Southeast Asian countries, including more than 300 in the Philippines.

Ketsana also hit Vietnam hard, with officials confirming at least 99 people were killed during the storm, some by landslides and some by falling trees. Storm-related deaths were also reported in Cambodia and Laos.

In the eastern Philippines, authorities moved about 900 people to safety in Albay province after heavy rains triggered floods and unleashed mud and rock from Mayon volcano.

The rains eased by midday Wednesday, but officials suspended elementary and high school classes throughout the province as a precaution.

With files from The Associated Press

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