Source AP ©

Vietnamese floods kill 67

The death toll from floods that have battered central Vietnam over the last week rose to 67 as the country braced for an approaching typhoon, disaster officials said Tuesday.

Seven more bodies were recovered Monday, bringing the death toll from weekend flooding to 40.

Those floods were the second to hit the area in just one week. The first round of flooding killed 27 people.

Eight people were still missing and hundreds of thousands of people were still living in flooded neighborhoods.

Three bodies were recovered in Phu Yen, the province hardest hit by the latest floods, and four others from elsewhere in the region, said provincial disaster official Duong Van Huong.

Authorities distributed more than 1,000 tons of rice to flood victims, but local officials said they needed 5,500 tons more, the Flood and Storm Control Department said in a report Tuesday.

Meanwhile, approaching Tropical Storm Peipah gathered strength and was upgraded to a typhoon with sustained winds of 133 kilometers (83 miles) per hour, the national weather forecast center said.

The typhoon is expected to unleash heavy rains that will lash central Vietnam later this week.

Vietnam is prone to floods and storms, which kill hundreds of people each year.