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Vietnam storm death toll rises to 99

The death toll from Tropical Storm Mirinae rose to 99 in central Vietnam on Thursday and authorities estimated damage from the storm at $55 million.

world Updated: Nov 05, 2009 10:53 IST

The death toll from Tropical Storm Mirinae rose to 99 in central Vietnam on Thursday and authorities estimated damage from the storm at $55 million.

In the hardest-hit province Phu Yen, three districts that are home to 300,000 people remained inundated, said Nguyen Ba Loc, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee. Some areas of the province suffered their most severe flooding ever and many families lost their homes, he said. Some 24,000 people continued to take shelter at government buildings. Military helicopters continued to drop instant noodles and water to victims in the isolated areas, he said, and soldiers in speed boats also contributed to the relief efforts.

The death toll in Phu Yen reached 69 on Thursday, and 16 residents were still missing, he said.

Fourteen people died in the neighboring province of Binh Dinh and two were missing, said disaster official Phan Ke Hung. Binh Dinh residents began returning to their homes Thursday as flood waters continued receding.

Elsewhere in the region, Mirinae left 16 people dead and one missing, according to the government's Web site.

The storm also injured 66 people, destroyed or damaged more than 16,000 homes and damaged about 30,000 hectares (74 acres) of rice and other crops, according the national committee for flood and storm control.

The committee made an initial damage estimate of 1 trillion dong ($55 million), but the number is likely to rise after a more complete assessment of losses is made.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered authorities to send 10,000 tons of rice and 225 billion dong ($12 million) to help the victims, the government said.

Central Vietnam, one of the communist country's poorest regions, has been battered by two rounds of storms and flooding in just over a month. Ketsana killed more than 160 people in the region in late September.

In the Philippines, Ketsana and two later storms killed more than 900.