At least three were killed and 26 left missing as a strong typhoon slammed into central regions of Vietnam on Tuesday.
Storm Molave, the ninth storm this year in the South China Sea, called the East Sea in Vietnam, struck coastal provinces on Oct. 28 with heavy rainfall and winds as high as 115-135 km per hour, according to data provided by Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Over 56,000 houses were stripped of their roofs, with at least 34 completely destroyed and thousands of others flooded across central provinces from Quang Nam to Binh Dinh, official sources said.
The storm also killed three people and left 26 crew members in two fishing boats missing in Binh Dinh, prompting calls by Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung for large vessels and specialized rescue-service aircraft to be sent to search for the missing.
Major power lines were also affected, causing power outages across Vietnam's south-central region.
Floods and landslides are now likely in low-lying areas in provinces from Thua Thien Hue to Binh Dinh and Vietnam's north central highlands, the National Center warned.
Authorities moved around 375,000 people to safety and closed schools, beaches, and airports ahead of the storm, canceling hundreds of flights, the AFP news service reported on Tuesday.
Vietnam Red Cross president Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu meanwhile launched an international appeal for emergency aid of over $4 million in funds, calling the effort "one of our biggest relief operations ever," Reuters reported.
Tuesday's storm hit central regions already devastated by weeks of heavy rains, floods, and landslides beginning Oct. 6 that left at least 130 dead and thousands displaced.
The floods and landslides also wrecked highways and roads, blocking efforts to rescue and bring supplies to many cut off from help in remote areas.
Reported by RFA's Vietnamese Service. Translated by Huy Le. Written in English by Richard Finney.
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