Typhoon death toll rises in Vietnam

Ketsana storm leaves over 120 people dead and 12 missing, official says.

    Typhoon Ketsana was one of the worst disasters to hit Vietnam in recent years [AFP]

    Initial estimates of the damage caused by the storm in Vietnam was as much as $587m, according to government figures released for 10 out of 14 provinces affected by the typhoon, which struck on Tuesday.

    Extensive damage

    The data said that more than 387,000 homes were flooded, had broken roofs or had collapsed.

    Almost 170,000 farm animals died and more than 87,000 hectares of rice and other cropland were damaged in a country which is the world's second-largest rice exporter.

    The Red Cross in Vietnam said that it had launched an international appeal for $4.75m to help more than 200,000 victims of Typhoon Ketsana over the next year.

    With the region hard hit by natural disasters in recent days, there has been little focus on Vietnam.

    Flood waters have been receding in much of the affected regions, leaving residents cleaning up the mess and tallying the damage to their farms and homes.

    'Considerable' losses

    Officials were concentrating on returning people to their homes "and cleaning the environment which was very polluted after the passage of the typhoon", an official from the flood and storm committee in Quang Ngai said.

    Pham Chau, 47, from a nearby village, said damage to the enclosure where he farms shrimp and fish from the storm had caused "considerable" losses.

    "We will only know really how much we lost in terms of fish and shrimp in the next few days," said Chau.

    He said he might have to turn to loan sharks to rebuild his fish farm.

    Ketsana has brought devastation across Southeast Asia, first killing at least 293 people in the Philippines last weekend, before striking Vietnam.

    It also claimed 17 lives in Cambodia and details are slowly emerging from Laos, where the Red Cross on Saturday said Ketsana had killed 24 people.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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