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Storm Molave drains central Vietnam of $430 mln

By Nguyen Quy   November 1, 2020 | 10:36 pm PT
Storm Molave drains central Vietnam of $430 mln
Rescue forces in Quang Nam Province try to pull a heavy object out of the wreckage to search for victims hit by a landslide in Nam Tra My District, October 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.
Storm Molave, which swept central Vietnam last week, inflicted economic damage worth around VND10 trillion ($430.16 million), according to statistics from affected provinces.

The damage was nearly 1.5 times higher than 2019’s total natural disaster-induced loss of VND7 trillion ($302.6 million), mostly due to floods, storms and landslides.

Molave, one of the most powerful storms to hit Vietnam, made landfall over Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces last Wednesday, causing heavy rains and deadly landslides in the central region, already battered by multiple storms and historic flooding.

At least 33 people have been killed and 49 others gone missing as of Sunday, with over 720 houses having collapsed and 176,790 others seriously damaged, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disasters Prevention and Control.

Due to Molave's impact, Quang Nam Province, home to Hoi An ancient town, was hit by torrential downpours of up to 500 mm on October 28-29. Subsequently, multiple landslides struck poverty-stricken mountainous areas, killing at least 24 people and leaving 23 others missing.

With many communes isolated due to storm erosion, the government was prompted to drop food and daily necessities via helicopter.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who paid a visit to storm-hit provinces Sunday, set aside VND40 million from the state budget per family whose house had been destroyed by Molave and VND10 million for each who had their homes damaged.

A further VND800 billion grant was requested for six localities worst hit by Storm Molave, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Thua Thien-Hue, Nghe An and Kon Tum.

Earlier, the government had granted VND500 billion ($21.52 million) to five central provinces, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam, that suffered heavy damage from historic flooding between October 6-25.

While central Vietnam residents recuperate from Storm Molave and prior flooding, Storm Goni entered the East Sea on Monday morning, forecast to strike central areas from Da Nang to Phu Yen in the next few days.

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