Typhoon kills 7 in Vietnam

A typhoon has ripped off roofs, felled trees and cut power lines on Vietnam's central coast, killing at least seven people before weakening overland and moving into neighbouring Laos.

    Vietnam Airlines grounded domestic flights

    Typhoon Xangsane, which hit Vietnam after causing death and destruction in the Philippines, left three people dead and several hundred injured in the city of Danang and the provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.

    Four other people were killed while fishing in a swollen river in Nghe An province in the north of the country.

    An official at the Danang information centre said: "The typhoon has passed and spared us, we are cleaning up the city and clearing roads blocked by fallen trees to allow traffic to circulate. People can drive motorcycles in the street now."

    Holiday destination

    The resort city of Danang, Vietnam's fourth-largest conurbation with about a million residents, took the brunt of the typhoon when it crossed the coast at about 0200 GMT. It was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

    The storm also hit the nearby historical towns of Hue to the north and Hoi An to its south.
       
    Vietnam television showed pictures of rain- and wind-swept streets, debris flying from buildings and collapsed trees.

    Rescue workers were filmed carrying people to safety from battered houses.

    Xangsane spurred Vietnamese authorities into an evacuation of 200,000 people in the central region.

    Fishing vessels were recalled to shore and Vietnam Airlines grounded domestic flights. The national railway suspended north-south train service.

    The typhoon killed 76 people and injured 81 in the northern and central Philippines on Wednesday and Thursday. Officials said 69 people were missing and nearly 105,000 in evacuation centres.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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