Tue, 24 Nov 2020

Typhoon Molave Blasts Central Vietnam

Voice of America
29 Oct 2020, 04:05 GMT+10

A powerful typhoon hit Vietnam on Wednesday, leaving at least two people dead and 26 fishermen missing.

Typhoon Molave made landfall along the central coastline about noon local time with winds up to 135 kilometers per hour.

Prior to landfall, thousands of people were evacuated from the storm's path, Reuters reported, and those who stayed home were told to remain indoors.

"I can see bits of roof, perhaps mine included, and tree branches flying under sky thick with clouds," Nguyen Van Muoi, a Binh Dinh province resident, told Reuters.

Local TV footage has aired scenes of wind toppling trees in Quang Ngai, while roads in nearby Phu Yen province appeared littered with fallen power lines, trees and billboards, AP reported, adding that the winds blew the roofs off homes and destroyed fish farms.

Some 250,000 soldiers stood at the ready to assist in the rescue and recovery process, according to news reports.

"We are mounting one of our biggest relief operations ever," Vietnam Red Cross President Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said in a statement, which also called for $4 million in relief funds.

In addition, Vietnam mobilized two naval ships to search for the 26 missing fishermen, the government said. There has been no word if any of the missing had been found.

The Southeast Asian country already has been battered by severe weather this month, which caused flooding and landslides. Some 130 people have died in the country's central region, and many, including soldiers, remain missing.

"The people of Vietnam are tough, yet this is among the worst destruction ever seen in many areas. The relentless storms and flooding are taking a devastating human toll," Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said in her statement.

"All our hard work in containing the social and economic fallout of COVID-19 is being undone by these massive storms hitting us one after the other," she said.

Before hitting Vietnam, Molave hit the Philippines, killing at least nine.

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