30 Sep 2009

Typhoon kills 32 in Vietnam

11:57 am on 30 September 2009

A powerful typhoon has slammed into central Vietnam, killing 32 people and flooding towns and villages along the country's long coastline after leaving a trail of destruction in the Philippines.

The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Ketsana rose to 246 while the economic cost was nearly $100 million, officials said.

Philippine authorities braced for another storm that could hit later this week.

Many of those who died in the storm in Vietnam were in a mountainous inland province Kon Tum. Most of the 13 victims there died because of landslides and the collapse of their houses during the vicious winds and heavy rains, an official in charge of storm relief there said.

Many areas of central Vietnam were inundated, including parts of the port city of Danang, state-run Vietnam Television (VTV) footage showed. Homes were damaged and phone lines were down.

National carrier Vietnam Airlines cancelled all fights to Danang and schools in the affected area were closed. The airline said it would resume service on Wednesday.

New Philippine storm

Forecasters said a new storm forming in the Pacific Ocean was likely to enter Philippine waters on Thursday and make landfall later on the northern island of Luzon.

The storm dumped more than a month's worth of average rainfall on Manila and surrounding areas in one 24-hour period, flooding about 80% of the city of 15 million people.

More than 1.9 million people were affected and 375,000 had abandoned their homes and taken refuge in evacuation centres.

The Philippine government has come in for scathing criticism for its response, with many calling it inadequate and delayed.