HA NOI – Freak tornadoes swept through three southern provinces early yesterday killing two people, injuring about 75 others and destroying nearly 700 homes.
Thousands of people are reported to have been left homeless by the high-speed storms, which lasted for less than half an hour each.
In Soc Trang Province, residents reported that two tornadoes struck in one hour, killing one resident and injuring about 59 others.
At the same time, in Bac Lieu Province, a tornado took one life and injured another 12.
Four residents in Ben Tre Province were also injured by the raging wind. Bac Lieu and Ben Tre provinces have sent rescue forces to help the victims.
According to preliminary reports, Soc Trang suffered the worst damage. A total of 110 houses were completely destroyed and another 226 damaged, said a spokesman for Soc Trang People's Committee.
In Ben Tre, a tornado destroyed 43 houses and damaged another 153, said Nguyen Khanh Hoan, head the provincial People's Committee.
Head of the Bac Lieu flood and storm control steering committee Lai Thanh An said that in two districts, Phuoc Long and Hong Dan, more than 200 severely damaged by the wind.
Earlier reports said that 50 homes in the province had also been totally destroyed.
He said that in Phu Dong commune, 60 houses were damaged.
The exact damage to farming in the province is still being assessed.
The three provinces are striving to provide support for victims. One family in Soc Trang who lost a family member will receive VND4.5 million (US$210) from the Government, while those injured will receive VND3 million ($140). – VNS