Early assessments by two aid agencies suggest that Vietnam looks set to escape the scale of death and devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The typhoon made landfall early this morning in northern Vietnam, packing winds of 120 kph, before weakening to a tropical storm and heading to southern China. Haiyan has claimed up to 10,000 lives in the Philippines and flattened whole towns. The state-run Vietnam News Agency reported that five persons had been killed. Snigda Chakraborty, country manager of Catholic Relief Services in Vietnam said, "In general, he does not anticipate that the damage will be on the scale of Haiyan in the Philippines but there will be recovery needs.” She added, "The typhoon has really weakened but it also changed its direction to where communities were not that ready.” The typhoon, which had initially been forecast to hit central Vietnam, skirted the country's long coastline on Sunday, before making landfall near Ha Long Bay, a popular tourist destination known for its limestone peaks that jut dramatically out of the Gulf of Tonkin.