leaves 63 dead, 25 missing
|Houses in Ba Ria-Vung
Tau Province’s Loc An Commune have been destroyed by Typhoon Durian.
By yesterday afternoon, more than 220 houses in the province were
reported destroyed completely. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Vu
HCM CITY — Tropical
typhoon Durian yesterday claimed at least 63 lives and left 25 missing as it
swept through the country’s south, after making its first landfall in Binh
Thuan Province’s Phu Quy Island on Monday night.
The storm also destroyed
thousands of houses and fishing vessels in southern provinces and in HCM City.
After moving from the
Philippines, where it killed more than 1,000 people, the typhoon hit Phu Quy
Island first, then swept through HCM City, southern provinces and Cuu Long
According to the Central
Committee for Storm and Flood Control, as of yesterday afternoon, the typhoon
had killed 34 people in the province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, 19 in Ben Tre,
four in Vinh Long, two in Tien Giang, two in Binh Thuan and another two in Can
Gio, an outlying district of HCM City.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau was
hardest hit with over 6,700 houses damaged, following by Kien Giang with 6,300.
The typhoon also sank
almost 900 vessels, mostly in Binh Thuan.
yesterday urged provinces in the Mekong Delta to be on high alert to avoid
another Linda, a typhoon that wreaked havoc in the region in 1997.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan
Dung issued an urgent message to ministries, agencies and various provinces in
the south and Mekong Delta to take drastic measures to cope with the typhoon.
Mekong Delta provinces
were told to continue evacuating residents from high-risk areas and call for
their vessels to drop anchor, particularly on the western coast.
According to the
directive, the provinces must not allow their residents to stay on vessels or
aqua-culture watchtowers. Coercion could be applied to bring people to safe
shelters, it said.
The Government leader also
asked for localities to put off unnecessary meetings to focus on typhoon
prevention and permit local students to stay away from unsecured schools.
Two deputy prime ministers
Nguyen Sinh Hung and Truong Vinh Trong have closely monitored rescue and aid
efforts in affected areas.
Hung, Trong and other
officials expressed their anxiety for the unusual progress of the typhoon, which
changed its course from earlier predictions to hit Khanh Hoa, then Binh Thuan
and Ninh Thuan and on to the Mekong Delta.
helps Filipino victims
HA NOI —
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday asked the Ministry of Finance
to take 500 tonnes of rice out of reserves to support people in the
Philippines who are suffering the consequences of Typhoon Durian.
In accordance with Dung’s decision, the Ministry of Agriculture and
Rural Development will assign the Southern Food Stuff Corporation to
transfer the rice to the Philippines. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
was assigned to inform the Filipino embassy in Ha Noi about the relief
and work with relevant ministries to implement the decision. — VNS
Trong from HCM City
criticised some of the southern provinces for underestimating the threat.
"When I was in Ba
Ria-Vung Tau yesterday afternoon, I saw local residents having neither sand bags
nor ropes while trying to protect their houses," he said.
Binh Thuan was criticised
for not sending leaders to the Phu Quy Island, the first locality in Viet Nam to
be hit by the typhoon, to guide preparation for the storm.
Though there were no
casualties on the island, the typhoon destroyed many fishing boats and houses.
The island’s electricity
supply and telecommunication system and facilities were destroyed. The initial
damage was estimated at VND350 billion (US$21.8 million).
morning, committee members and Binh Thuan Province People’s Committee staff
delivered relief supplies to islanders by helicopters and rescue boats. Food
supplies would last no more than 10 days, officials said.
Deputy PM Hung has ordered
the delivery of an additional 200 tonnes of rice to the island.
Meanwhile, in Ham Tan
District, a fallen concrete cross killed a mother and her child when they took
shelter in a local church.
guidance, the Ministry of National Defence has dispatched a helicopter to Phu
Quy Island and a freighter carrying food and tents to local victims.
Viet Nam Red Cross was
also providing the area with 300 family kits as first aid.
Despite having their
barracks ravaged, military officers and soldiers on the island were joining
hands with local people to overcome the typhoon’s aftermath.
Military Zone 5 has
rallied over 3,500 soldiers and 55 facilities to help mitigate the possible
losses in affected provinces.
The Ministry of Public
Security yesterday asked their local units to partake in protecting human lives
and ensuring security, particularly when power was off.
In Ben Tre Province, about
70 km Southwest of HCM City, 19 people have been reported dead and more than 400
people injured. Four fishing boats were reported missing and the number of
people on board them was unknown.
The provincial People’s
Committee also said that about 4,000 houses had been destroyed. Communication to
Giong Trom and Ba Tri districts was severed because of the storm.
The province’s coastal
Binh Dai District was hardest hit with more than 90 per cent of the houses
In his visit to the
district, Deputy Prime Minister Trong asked the provincial leadership to help
local residents overcome the aftermath as soon as possible.
The provincial People’s
Committee has said that it would assist each surviving family with VND2 million
($125), and provide free medical treatment to the injured.
The typhoon swept through
HCM City’s Can Gio District yesterday morning, leaving eight missing, striking
nearly 100 houses and taking the roofs off 690 houses. The worst-hit areas
included Thanh An and Ly Nhon communes.
Earlier, the district
authorities were able to resettle 4,300 people in the district to safe areas.
The central flood and
storm committee said local people were still missing at sea last night. That was
partly due to lax control from the locality.
The National Centre for
Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said the typhoon was expected to strike the
southernmost Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces later yesterday before it moved
toward the Gulf of Thailand.
Yesterday, the People’s
Committee in Kien Giang Province requested that all fishing boats return to
The provincial Committee
for Flood and Storm Control said that it was concerned most about the island
districts, including Kien Hai and Phu Quoc. — VNS