Typhoon Wipha kills one, leaves 15 missing in Vietnam

HANOI (Xinhua) – Typhoon Wipha, the third tropical storm to strike Vietnam so far this year, has killed one person and left 15 others missing, Vietnam News Agency reported yesterday.

In northern Thanh Hoa province, a rockslide, whirlwinds and floods sparked by the typhoon killed a 33-year-old man, injured three people, and left 15 others missing, and damaged 183 houses, four schools, 17 hectares of forests and many road sections, causing property losses of over VND1 billion (nearly USD43,500), the agency quoted local authorities as reporting.

Wipha made landfall in northern Quang Ninh province on Friday night and then weakened to a tropical depression, causing heavy rain and strong gusts in such northern provinces as Quang Ninh, Lang Son and Thanh Hoa. A fishing boat sunk in Quang Ninh on Friday but caused no human losses.

In the first seven months of this year, natural disasters in Vietnam left 34 people dead or missing, destroyed 156 houses, damaged over 3,000 other houses and 3,700 hectares of rice and other crops, causing economic losses of VND239 billion (USD10.4 million), said the country’s General Statistics Office.

Vietnam is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters and climate change, according to the United Nations Development Programme. It faces six or seven typhoons every year on average.