9 dead or missing in Vietnam as infrastructure is damaged

By Reuters   July 17, 2017 | 05:12 am PT
The second storm to hit the country this year has sunk ships and destroyed 500 homes.

Tropical Storm Talas has killed at least five people and left four others missing, damaging buildings and roads across northern and central Vietnam after making landfall on Monday morning.

According to Vietnam's Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the storm has destroyed nearly 500 houses and over 1,400 hectares (3,460 acres) of rice crops across nine provinces.

In Nghe An Province, the storm uprooted trees and swept away national highways, causing severe traffic jams.

The storm, the second to hit Vietnam this year, has caused flight delays and cancellations, leaving many passengers stranded.

"I'm here to see some people off to Ho Chi Minh City, but their flight has been delayed for an hour," said Nguyen Xuan An, a local citizen.

According to the central committee, a woman in Nghe An's capital Vinh was killed when the roof of her house was ripped off by strong winds.

Ship tragedy

A 5,100-ton cargo ship carrying a crew of 13 capsized off Nghe An Province. Six of the crew have been rescued, but one sailor was found dead, and the other six were still missing at 2 p.m. on Monday.

In Quang Binh Province, seven people were also injured when another ship capsized.

Weather forecasters in Vietnam are predicting a particularly stormy typhoon season this year, with 13-15 typhoons and tropical depressions expected to develop over the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea. Three to four are likely to make landfall in central Vietnam.

Last year, 10 typhoons and tropical depressions developed over the South China Sea, four of which hit Vietnam's mainland.

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