Tropical storm Durian kills at least 23 in Vietnam
The storm ravaged southern coastal provinces, sank hundreds of boats moored on a remote island in the South China Sea.india Updated: Dec 05, 2006 11:39 IST
At least 23 people died when severe tropical storm Durian hit southern Vietnam, destroying boats and houses after leaving more than 1,000 dead or missing in the Philippines, officials said on Tuesday.
The storm ravaged southern coastal provinces, sank hundreds of boats moored on a remote island in the South China Sea and Tuesday swept across the Mekong delta region south of Ho Chi Minh City, killing at least eight, officials said.
Ten people died and two were missing in Ba Ria-Vung Tau east of the former Saigon, a province which has tourist resorts and offshore oil rigs, said Nguyen Ngoc Loc of the provincial flood and storm control committee.
The island of Phu Quy, 250 kilometres east of Ho Chi Minh City, suffered heavy damage as the storm swept through overnight, sinking hundreds of boats, uprooting trees and damaging houses, office buildings and schools.
"Phu Quy island suffered serious losses," Deputy Fisheries Minister Nguyen Viet Thang told VTV.
More than 800 moored boats sank in the port, 1,100 buildings lost their roofs and 90 per cent of power poles were toppled, he said.
Two people were killed by falling trees in Binh Thuan province, to which the island belongs.
The deaths were on land in La Di town, not on Phu Quy, said flood and storm official Ta Thi Niem, revising an earlier statement.
Three more people were killed to the north in the Phu Yen province, said Duong Van Huong of the Phu Yen storm and flood control committee.
In the Mekong delta province of Ben Tre, eight people were reported dead Tuesday, said Tran Thi Luan, head of the provincial flood and storm control committee.
"We had evacuated 3,500 people," she said. "If the evacuation had not happened, the toll would have become much higher. The storm was really strong."
Luan said that by mid-morning "the weather seems to be better but we do not dare yet to tell people that the storm is over, because this is a really complicated storm".
Officials in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis, and the seaside resort of Nha Trang said they had no immediate reports of casualties.
Philippines officials Tuesday said some 1,086 people had died in massive mudslides triggered by rains from Durian as it passed over the country.