Typhoon Molave: Vietnam’s worst typhoon in 20 years kills at least 35 and leaves 1.7m without power

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  • October 29, 2020
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yphoon Molave, the most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam in 20 years, has killed at least 35 and left 1.7 million people without power.

Rescue efforts have focused on three villages in the country’s central region, where landslides killed at least 19 people and are suspected of burying more than 40 others in thick mud and debris.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung traveled to the site of one landslide where soldiers were working to clear debris with bulldozers, and he ordered officers to urgently send more troops to help with the efforts.

“We must reach the landslide site the fastest way. First, send in more soldiers before we can get the big machine there. We have to reach the area by all means, including by using helicopters,” he said.

( The death toll may rise (Reuters) / REUTERS )

Also among the dead were 12 fishermen whose boats sank Wednesday as Typhoon Molave approached with winds of up to 150 kilometres (93 miles) per hour. Another 14 fisherman were still missing.

Officials said the death toll across the country may rise as some regions have been unable to report details of damage and casualties.

The three landslide-hit areas lie in the mountains of hard-hit Quang Nam province in a coastal region still recovering from floods that killed 136 people and destroyed hundreds of houses earlier this month.

( The landslide hit areas were still recovering from floods (AFP via Getty Images) / Manan Vatsyaana/AFP via Getty Images )

Quang Nam, a tourist draw for an ancient town and Hindu temples, is about 800 kilometres (500 miles) southeast of Hanoi.

Elsewhere, four people were killed by falling trees and collapsed houses in Quang Nam and Gia Lai provinces when the typhoon slammed into the coast Wednesday.

( The typhoon blew off the the roofs of 56,000 / Aaron Favila/AP )

Navy search and rescue boats found the bodies of 12 of 26 fishermen whose boats sank Wednesday off Binh Dinh province, state media said.

The typhoon blew off roofs of about 56,000 houses and caused a massive blackout in Quang Ngai province, where 1.7 million people endured the onslaught of the typhoon overnight in darkness, according to Vietnam News.

At least 40,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters and authorities shut down offices, factories and schools to prevent casualties.

The typhoon left at least 16 people dead in the Philippines before moving across the South China Sea to Vietnam.

With additional reporting by Associated Press.