99 Vietnamese missing in Typhoon Chanchu
The Vietnamese could add to the toll of the storm's deadly march through Asia, killing 37 people in the Philippines.india Updated: May 18, 2006 15:51 IST
At least 99 Vietnamese fishermen are missing and feared dead after being trapped at sea during Typhoon Chanchu, authorities said on Thursday.
The Vietnamese could add to the toll of Chanchu's deadly march through Asia, killing 37 people in the Philippines and at least two in southern China.
Vietnam's National Search and Rescue Centre was searching for the deep sea fishermen Thursday and has asked Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to be on the lookout for 10 ships that have not reported in since the storm hit on Wednesday.
"There's a very slim chance of finding them," said Vu Duc Minh, duty officer at the rescue centre.
At least one of the 11 ships reported missing is known to have sunk, as other ships picked up 10 survivors, Minh said.
However, the status of the remaining missing ships was uncertain.
Chanchu had been predicted to hit central Vietnam this week and so the fishermen, all from Quang Ngai province, 900 km south of Hanoi, headed north early on Wednesday morning in deep-sea waters to avoid the typhoon's path.
"But then the typhoon changed direction northward and they were trapped," Minh said by telephone on Thursday.