HANOI - Typhoon Nari slammed into central Vietnam early Tuesday, killing five people and causing widespread damage which residents said left a popular tourist city looking like "a battlefield".
The storm, which claimed 13 lives in the Philippines over the weekend, tore through the communist country's central region, hitting the UNESCO-listed ancient capital of Hue and the city of Danang.
"The city looks like a battlefield," local resident Nguyen Thi Lan told AFP from Danang - popular with foreign tourists for its pristine beaches.
"Signboards have blown down, roofs have been ripped off, trees have been torn up," she said, adding that parts of the city were left without electricity.
Residents said it was biggest typhoon since 2006, when Typhoon Xangsane barrelled through the region, killing some 250 people in the Philippines and Vietnam.
Schools were closed Tuesday in Danang, which bore the brunt of the typhoon packing winds of up to 133 kilometres (83 miles) an hour, state media said.
Photographs from the area showed streets strewn with the twisted wreckage of advertising hoardings torn down by high winds, while residents picked through the debris of their homes.
The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, said it had cancelled a total of 22 flights to and from Hue and Danang city on Monday and Tuesday morning, leaving many tourists stranded.