Source Pravda.Ru

Powerful typhoon grips Vietnam in a vice

Typhoon Damrey brought widespread damage Tuesday to Vietnam's northern and central coast, where 300,000 people were evacuated after the storm battered parts of China.

At least one person died in a house collapse in northern Vietnam's Thanh Hoa province and several people were injured elsewhere, said a weather official who declined to be identified.

The epicentre of the powerful storm, which left at least nine people dead in southern China on Monday, hit Thanh Hoa with winds of more than 60 miles per hour, a central government weather spokesman said.

In Nam Dinh province as well as in Thanh Hoa, the storm quickly destroyed some of the protective dykes that had already taken a battering from an unusually tough season of tropical storms.

Authorities mobilized 30,000 troops and police and moved some 300,000 people before the storm hit.

Vast tracts of farmland are under water.

"Damrey is the most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam in several years," said the central weather spokesman. "It's the biggest (ever) campaign to evacuate people in the face of a violent typhoon in Vietnam."

Damrey, whose name means elephant in Cambodian, on Monday brought 15 hours of raging winds and rains to the Chinese island province of Hainan, where it destroyed homes, stranded travellers and left much of the island without electricity.

China's civil affairs ministry, in a preliminary report, put damage at just 1.6 million dollars.

Some 3.9 million residents of Hainan and another 1.8 million people in Guangdong to the north were affected by the storm, the civil affairs ministry said. A total of 287,000 people were evacuated to safer areas.

The region is prone to tropical storms and typhoons, two of which caused widespread destruction in China and killed scores of people this month, the AFP reports.

Photo: the AP

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