Damage, injuries as Vamco hits Vietnam

HANOI (AFP) – Storm Vamco barrelled into Vietnam yesterday, damaging buildings and injuring at least five people after wreaking devastation in the Philippines.

The storm made landfall yesterday morning with winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour, according to media reports, uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off houses and schools.

Vamco is the latest in a series of storms that have pummelled Vietman over the past six weeks causing flooding and landslides that killed at least 159 people and left 70 others missing.

Initial reports from the Disaster Management Authority yesterday said five people were injured while they were trying to secure their houses.

Vamco weakened since hitting the Philippines as a typhoon with winds of up to 155 kilometres per hour, but state media said it still caused significant damage, though details were not immediately available.

Residents are carried on a forklift truck to dry land through flood waters brought by heavy rain from Typhoon Vamco after it made landfall in Thua Thien Hue province. PHOTO: AFP

Authorities evacuated nearly 650,000 people from seven coastal provinces to higher and safer ground before the storm hit to try to reduce casualties.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong told the VNExpress news website he hoped the precautions would minimise the storm’s impact.

Vamco caused severe damage in the Philippines, causing flooding that affected more than 340,000 people.

Philippine authorities said yesterday the death rose to 67, though floodwaters are now receding, giving hope that the worst could be over.

In Vietnam, weeks of severe weather damaged or destroyed over 400,000 homes, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Roads and bridges have been washed away, power supplies disrupted, and crucial food crops destroyed, leaving at least 150,000 people at immediate risk of food shortages.