Typhoon Dok­suri pum­mels cen­tral Viet­namese coast, killing four

The National - News - - NEWS | WORLD -

At least four peo­ple have been killed af­ter Typhoon Dok­suri hit cen­tral Viet­nam, with heavy rain and strong wind rip­ping off roofs and knock­ing over elec­tric­ity poles.

With max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 135kph, the typhoon made land­fall in Ha Tinh prov­ince on Friday, pound­ing six coastal dis­tricts and de­stroy­ing the roofs of 62,500 houses, dis­as­ter of­fi­cial Ngo Duc Hoi said.

In the neigh­bour­ing prov­ince of Quang Binh, farther south, a man fell to his death when he tried to re­in­force his house and an el­derly man fell to the ground in his yard and died of head in­juries. Ten peo­ple were in­jured by fall­ing trees or de­bris.

Tran Xuan Binh, a dis­as­ter of­fi­cial in Nghe An prov­ince, north of Ha Tinh, said an 83-year-old woman died af­ter be­ing hit by fall­ing de­bris, while in Thua Thien Hue prov­ince, south of Quang Binh, a man died in a swollen river.

About 123,000 homes were dam­aged and trees and pow­er­lines torn down in five hard­hit prov­inces, the na­tional dis­as­ter agency said. Black­outs were wide­spread and tech­ni­cians tried to re­store power as flood­ing was re­ported in some vil­lages.

As of early Friday, 79,000 vil­lagers in high-risk areas in five cen­tral prov­inces had been moved and an­other 210,000 were to be shifted to safety be­fore the typhoon hit.

About 40 flights were can­celled be­tween the cap­i­tal, Hanoi, in north­ern Viet­nam and Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

Shaken res­i­dents were putting their homes and busi­nesses back to­gether yes­ter­day af­ter wak­ing up to the wide­spread de­struc­tion in nor­mally idyl­lic coastal com­mu­ni­ties, which pop­u­lar among beach-lov­ing tourists.

“I sat in­side my house cov­er­ing my ears. I didn’t dare leave I was so scared,” said Mai Thi Tinh, whose res­tau­rant in Ha Tinh prov­ince was com­pletely de­stroyed.

“The power is still off so we can’t do any­thing. I don’t know how long it will take to re­cover.”

Prime min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc vis­ited the hard-hit prov­ince yes­ter­day to sur­vey the dam­age.

“We have to quickly mo­bilise forces to re­pair houses and dam­aged schools. We have to en­sure peo­ple can get back to nor­mal life,” he said.

Four fish­ing boats were re­ported to have sunk in Quang Ngai prov­ince, al­though many fish­er­men had dragged their small wooden boats into the streets of coastal towns to stop them from be­ing car­ried away.

Viet­nam, a coun­try of 93 mil­lion peo­ple, is prone to floods and storms that kill hun­dreds of peo­ple each year.

Since Jan­uary, 140 peo­ple have been killed or are miss­ing af­ter nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Floods in north­ern Viet­nam last month killed 26 peo­ple and washed away hun­dreds of homes. Last year, mean­while, more than 200 peo­ple were killed in storms.

But the eye of Dok­suri skirted Viet­nam’s most im­por­tant cof­fee-grow­ing areas and the rain it brought were largely seen as ben­e­fi­cial to the trees, cof­fee traders said.

Rice farm­ers had rushed to gather in what they could be­fore Dok­suri struck.

Dok­suri swept through the Philip­pines on Tues­day as a less pow­er­ful trop­i­cal de­pres­sion, killing at least four peo­ple and leav­ing an­other six miss­ing.

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