HANOI • Typhoon Damrey killed at least 19 people in central and southern Vietnam yesterday, the government said, after it swept into the country just days ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.
The storm made landfall at 4am local time, with winds gusting at up to 90kmh tearing off more than 1,000 roofs, knocking down hundreds of electricity poles and uprooting trees, the government said.
At least 12 people were missing and over 370 houses had collapsed. More than 33,000 people had been evacuated. It also said six ships had capsized with 61 people on board in the South China Sea and 25 people had been rescued, but gave no details on the others.
The storm made landfall near the city of Nha Trang, which is around 500km south of the coastal city of Da Nang, where the Apec summit is taking place this week. There were reports of high winds and rain in Da Nang, but none of casualties.
The storm moved from the coastal area into a key coffee growing area of the world's biggest producer of robusta coffee beans. Traders had expected the storm to delay harvesting, but were not sure whether it would damage the crop.
The government said thousands of hectares of sugar cane, rice fields and rubber plantations were damaged. More than 40 flights were cancelled.
Floods killed more than 80 people in northern Vietnam last month while a typhoon wreaked havoc in the central provinces in September. The country of more than 90 million people is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline.