Vietnam is preparing for Typhoon Rammasun, which earlier left a trail of destruction in areas such as this fishing village in the Philippines. European Pressphoto Agency

HANOI—Vietnam began evacuating more than 118,000 people in northern provinces Friday as the country prepared for the arrival of Typhoon Rammasun, which killed at least 54 people in the Philippines.

The typhoon is forecast to make landfall around 7 a.m. local time Saturday in the coastal province of Quang Ninh, about 185 kilometers east of Hanoi, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. Other nearby provinces, including Haiphong, Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, will also be affected.

"We have evacuated more than 1,300 people to safe shelters and more people will be evacuated later today," Dang Huy Hau, deputy chairman of Quang Ninh province, told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung late Thursday warned the typhoon was "very strong and fast moving.

The weather center said Rammasun will bring heavy rains, potentially leading to floods and landslides in northern Vietnam.

Mr. Dung ordered authorities in northern coastal provinces to help with the evacuation and require all boats in the areas to return to shore. He also ordered the army to deploy forces in the areas for potential search and rescue operations.

Rammasun, which means "thunder god" in Thai, is expected to have sustained winds of between 118 and 149 kilometers per hour when it makes landfall in Vietnam.

At 1 p.m. Friday, the typhoon was located 420 kilometers east-southeast of Quang Ninh province and was moving west-northwest at 20 kilometers per hour with winds of 150-to-183 kilometers per hour, the weather center said.

Quang Ninh is Vietnam's largest coal-mining area and is home to Ha Long Bay, a popular tourist site. Mr. Hau said the province on Friday issued a ban on tourist boats in Ha Long Bay.

Earlier this week, Rammasun pounded the largely agricultural provinces south of the Philippine capital of Manila, killing at least 54 people and injuring 100. The typhoon avoided a direct hit on Manila on its way out to the South China Sea. Three people are still reported missing in the Philippines.

Rammasun also rendered 19 roads and three bridges impassable in the Philippines, plunged more than 25 million people in darkness, damaged more than 26,000 homes and destroyed $103 million of farm products as well as $21 million in infrastructure. Millions in the country are still without electricity, leaving them without air conditioning or refrigeration.

Rammasun was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central part of the country last year, claiming more than 6,000 lives.

—Cris Larano in Manila contributed to this article.

Write to Vu Trong Khanh at