Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Typhoon Damrey kills at least 27 in south Vietnam

APEC MEETING:Southern coastal provinces felt the brunt of the storm, but damage was also reported in APEC host city Da Nang and the port city of Hoi An

AFP, DA NANG, Vietnam

Residents and tourists are transported by boats yesterday through flooded streets in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Photo: AFP

At least 27 people have died and nearly two dozen are missing after Typhoon Damrey barreled into Vietnam, authorities said yesterday, damaging tens of thousands of homes and submerging highways days before the country welcomes world leaders to the APEC summit.

The storm, which made landfall on Saturday, is the worst in decades to strike the country’s southern coastal region, an area normally spared the typhoons that typically hit further north.

More than 40,000 homes were damaged as heavy rains and 130kph winds tore through the area, leaving 27 dead and 22 reported missing, according to the disaster management office.

Coastal Khanh Hoa Province, home to the popular white sand Nha Trang beach, was hardest hit with 16 dead and 10 injured, the government said.

More than 30,000 people were evacuated ahead of the latest storm in central Vietnam, including foreign tourists.

Photographs showed residents wading through knee-deep floodwater in several cities as toppled electricity poles and trees blocked roads.

About 300 ships were wrecked, according to the government, while local authorities said Phu Yen Province’s Tuy Hoa city had never suffered such devastation before.

There were also reports of lesser damage around 500km north in Da Nang, the coastal city which will host the APEC summit next weekend.

A local resident said strong winds and rain had torn down signs promoting the APEC gathering.

“Now city people are joining hands with authorities to clean up the mess to make the city look nicer for the APEC week,” said Tran Huy, as dark clouds loomed above.

An hour’s drive south in Hoi An, an atmospheric port city and popular stop on Vietnam’s tourist circuit, a resident said floodwater was up to 1.5, deep in some parts of town.

“Water has started to rise in the Old Quarter,” resident Dinh Thi Xuan Hoa told the state-run VNExpress, referring to a section of the city recognized as a World Heritage site for its architecture.

“Foreign tourists were transferred by boats to hotels in higher area,” she added.

The spouses of some APEC leaders are scheduled to visit to Hoi An, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

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