At least 35 people have died and 59 are missing as Typhoon Molave hit Central Vietnam on Wednesday (28th October), the fourth major storm to hit the area in October. The number of deaths is expected to rise. The three previous storms left at least 130 people dead and 18 missing before Molave.
Photo depicts previous flooding of Hoi An and not current conditions – credit Loi Nguyen Duc on flickr
Heavy rain and winds of up to 150km (93mph) resulted in major damage to around 89,000 homes. At least 19 people have been killed following landslides. Government officials have stated that Molave is the most powerful storm to hit the region in at least 20 years.
12 fishermen who had been reported missing following the loss of their vessel are now confirmed to have perished, a further 14 are still unaccounted for. Two navy vessels continue the search for survivors.
In Tra Leng in Quang Nam province a landslide left up to 45 people buried, at least 12 bodies have been recovered and 14 are still missing. Rescue efforts are being hampered due to other landslides and blocked or damaged roads.
8 people died in nearby Tra Van in Quang Nam province after a hillside collapsed onto houses where they were sheltering from the typhoon.
3 people were killed and 8 are still missing in Phuoc Loc following another landslide.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said in a statement “We can forecast the storm path or the amount of rain, but can’t predict when landslides happen.”
Rescue teams, including military teams, are searching for more survivors and are helping with humanitarian relief efforts.
More than 1.7 million residents are believed to have been left without power after widespread outages.
At least 40,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters in the lead up to the typhoon.
Vietnam’s weather agency has said that heavy rain will continue in the area until Saturday that could result in up to 700mm (27.5 inches) of rain.
Molave had already caused devastation in the Philippines where it left 16 dead, dozens missing and extensive damage.
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