Storm kills 8, leaves 14 missing in Vietnam

Heavy rain triggered by a tropical storm has killed at least eight people and left 14 others missing in Vietnam's central highlands area as the storm continues to head northwards along the coast, officials said Monday.

 Storm kills 8, leaves 14 missing in Vietnam
Heavy rain triggered by a tropical storm has killed at least eight people and left 14 others missing in Vietnam's central highlands area as the storm continues to head northwards along the coast, officials said Monday.

Floods have killed four people and destroyed 78 houses in Dak Lak province, 350 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, according to Phan Thu Hien, an official of the province's flood and storm department.

"Most of the victims drowned and were washed away during the weekend and we are searching for the missing now," Hien said, adding that 14 people were still missing in the floods.

The heavy rains also inundated more than 10,000 hectares of crops, mostly coffee. The central highlands are Vietnam's major coffee-growing region.

In neighboring Lam Dong province, heavy rain killed four people and destroyed 14 houses and inundated more than 1,000 hectares of crops, said Phuong Dinh Bao with the province's flood and storm department.

At 7 am Monday, the storm was 110 kilometers east of Danang with wind speed of up to 74 kilometers an hour and was moving northwards at 10 kilometers per hour, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorology Forecast.

Heavy rain is forecast to continue in the central highlands and coastal provinces for the next several days. However, it was unclear if the storm would actually make landfall in Vietnam.

The storm, which has not been assigned a name by the Japan Typhoon Centre, is the second tropical cyclone to hit Vietnam this year. Tropical Storm Toraji hit the country's northern areas last month but caused minimal damage.

A second storm now in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Pabuk, is expected to pass far north of Vietnam and threatens eastern China.

More than 600 people were killed last year in Vietnam by storms and floods, including some 200 in Tropical Storm Chanchu in May 2006.

DPA
Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2007, 19:08
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