Storm kills 40 in Vietnam

2009-11-03 21:14

Hanoi - Tropical storm Mirinae, which hit the Philippines as a deadly typhoon at the weekend, killed at least 40 people and left 11 missing in Vietnam, a national disaster official said on Tuesday.

Mirinae was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical depression before it hit Vietnam's central coastal areas on Monday.

"Most of the victims were because of serious floods that hit the provinces of Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Gia Lai in particular," the official said.

Fifty-nine people were reported as injured so far, the official added.

The national disaster committee's earlier toll was four dead and two missing.

According to the committee, up to 338mm of rain fell in Vietnam's central regions. The storm damaged or destroyed an estimated 2 600 houses and flooded some 1 800 hectares of farmland.

"Rain is not very heavy now but several areas in our province are seriously flooded," official Nguyen Xuan Phu of Binh Dinh province told AFP earlier on Tuesday.

State television showed people stuck on their roofs, waving for help from local emergency workers in Phu Yen, and rescuers trying to take children and old people to higher areas.

Thousands evacuated

Vietnam's coastal provinces had evacuated more than 50 000 people before the storm hit on Monday night but some residents were still trapped by flooding on Tuesday, the disaster committee said.

Mirinae also killed two people in Vietnam's neighbour Cambodia and left 19 people dead and three missing in the Philippines.

The Philippine National Disaster Co-ordinating Council said the deaths were due mostly to drowning and occurred in suburban areas just south of Manila and in two eastern provinces.

Three other people are missing primarily due to flash floods, the council said. Almost 16 000 people are still in evacuation centres three days after the typhoon hit.

Floodwaters remain waist-deep or higher in Laguna province south of Manila and in Pangasinan to the north, after Mirinae dumped more rain on areas already inundated by two previous deadly storms.

Vietnam and the Philippines are frequently hit by tropical storms and flooding, with both hit hard by Typhoon Ketsana in September.

Ketsana inflicted one of Vietnam's worst disasters in recent years, leaving a death toll of more than 160 and hundreds injured.

It caused devastating floods, inundating hundreds of thousands of homes and damaging tens of thousands of hectares of rice and other cropland.

The typhoon affected 14 provinces but about half the deaths happened in just two areas: the central fishing province of Quang Ngai and mountainous Kon Tum.

- SAPA

Read more on:    philippines  |  vietnam  |  cambodia
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