Floods kill 82 in Vietnam, typhoon likely at weekend

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Hanoi, Nov 7: Dozens of people were killed in central Vietnam trying to cross streams or salvage wood in floodwaters, raising the death toll to 82 before a typhoon lands at the weekend, government reports said today.

Storms and floods since early October have killed nearly 200 people. The disasters caused property and crop damage of 300 million dollar and delayed the coffee harvest in the Central Highlands coffee belt, squeezing supplies to global markets.

In the latest inundation since October 26, at least 82 people had been killed in nine provinces and Danang city, provincial disaster management committees said.

The government asked provincial authorities today to alert people of the danger in moving around while floodwaters were receding, as dozens more deaths were reported in the past two days as people tried to salvage wood and cross streams.

Hanoi also asked the coastal provinces to call back fishermen at sea as Typhoon Peipah, which killed five people in the Philippines before entering the South China Sea on Monday, was heading toward Vietnam's coast.

At least 9,000 fishermen were still off the southern provinces of Bac Lieu and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, the official Vietnam News Agency said.

The government said the area between the Paracels and the Spratly islands was extremely dangerous in the path of Typhoon Peipah, a Chinese word for a popular pet fish in Macau. Winds at the storm's centre were travelling at up to 133 km per hour.

The typhoon was heading southwest toward the central province of Khanh Hoa bordering Daklak, the country's top coffee growing province in the Central Highlands.

Rains were expected from Friday in Daklak and nearby coffee-growing provinces, Vietnamese forecasters said.


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