NATURAL DISASTERS IN VIETNAM: TYPHOONS, STORMS, TORNADOES AND AN EARTHQUAKE

NATURAL DISASTERS IN VIETNAM

Natural hazards include rare earthquakes and occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta Almost every year Vietnam is devastated by storms, floods and typhoons that kill hundreds people and cause millions of dollars of damage. The problem created by disasters have been exacerbated by logging, erosion and overdevelopment. The Vietnamese army is often put to work doing repair work, fixing dykes, laying sandbags and providing relief and emergency supplies.

An average of 430 people were killed each year by natural disasters between 2007-2011 in Vietnam, with property losses estimated at 1 percent of gross domestic product, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a conference on food security and climate change in Hanoi.

In 2008, natural disasters killed 550 people in Vietnam and caused damage amounting to more than $700 million dollars. In 2004, natural disasters killed 232 people and left 38 missing, injured 187 others, destroyed 4,200 houses and 3,000 hectares of rice, and killed over 2,000 cattle and 170,000 poultryin Vietnam, causing a property loss of over $57 million dollars. [Source: Xinhua, October 12, 2005]

Vietnam's long 3,200-kilometers coastline is battered every year by up to 10 storms, killing hundreds, even thousands of people. Some meteorologist predict that global warming will bring more rain to the region more rain, stronger typhoons and higher sea levels and make the flooding problem worse.

See Dykes, History, Global Warming

See Separate Articles on Floods and Typhoons

Earthquakes in 2001

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake centered off southern Vietnam in November 2001, killed one person after a plank loosened by the shaking fell on his head. Associated Press reported: “A rare earthquake believed to be the strongest in Vietnam in a decade damaged many houses and sent panicked residents into the streets, where they stayed all night to avoid aftershocks, an official said Tuesday. The moderate 5.3-magnitude quake, the worst to hit Lai Chau province since 1983, struck the town of Dien Bien Phu at 10:51 p.m. said Ho Sy Lam of the provincial People's Committee. Aftershocks continued until the next day morning, he said. [Source: Associated Press, February 21, 2001 <<<]

Many houses were damaged, and several people were injured as they tried to escape from their homes, including some who jumped from balconies, Lam said. There were no reports of deaths. Some schools and office buildings damaged by the quake were closed for inspection, he said. Lam said authorities were still assessing the damage. Dien Bien Phu was the site of a key victory by Vietnamese forces against French colonialist forces in 1954. After the quake, many residents of the town stayed on the streets all night and did not dare to go back into their houses until morning, Lam said. "People in the whole town could not sleep for fear of another quake," he said. Earthquakes occur infrequently in Vietnam. An earthquake expert in Hanoi said the quake was the worst to hit Vietnam in a decade. Damage from Vietnam earthquake estimated at $13 million. <<<

A woman broke several ribs and another received cuts on her face when they fell as panicked residents fled their houses after the quake, said Le Trong Do of the provincial People's Committee. The quake opened cracks in most government office buildings, schools and hospitals in Dien Bien Phu, and in about 80 percent of the town's houses, Do said. He said 20 percent of the homes were so badly damaged that they will need to be demolished. Dien Bien Phu, 500 kilometers northwest of Hanoi, was the site of a famous battle in 1954 in which Vietnamese forces defeated French colonialist troops. It now has a population of 130,000. The earthquake was centered about 20 kilometers west of the town at a depth of 12 kilometers, Do said. <<<

Tornados and Strong Winds in Vietnam

In April 2007, AFP reported: A third tornado has hit Vietnam in less than two weeks, killing a child, injuring 11 people and damaging or destroying 300 houses in the country's far south, local officials said Tuesday. The violent, unseasonal funnel-shaped storm hit the Tran Van Thoi district of Ca Mau province Monday, leaving a trail of destruction, after the previous storms had hit northern and central regions. "A 13-year-old primary school student was killed in this whirlwind which totally or partially destroyed nearly 300 houses," Nguyen Long Hoai, head of the provincial flood and storm control committee, told AFP. "It was an unexpected storm of the kind which rarely happens at the start of the summer raining season here." “The week before , a violent storm killed one man, destroyed 19 houses and unroofed 300 in the northern province of Yen Bai. On April 14 a tornado hit central Quang Nam province, injuring 21 people, collapsing 13 houses and leaving 400 buildings roofless while also toppling trees and electrical poles. [Source: AFP, April 24, 2007]

In August 2012, the Vietnam News reported: “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. [Source: Vietnam News, August 2, 2012 \~\]

“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 the 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 houses were 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). Tornadoes are rare localised events in Viet Nam. The compact, rotating winds travel perhaps for 20 to 30 kilometers, but their intensity, like those in the United States, can be severe. \~\

In May 2013, Vietnam News reported: “One person was killed and two injured after a hail storm and twister hit Nam Nhun Town in the nothern province of Lai Chau on Tuesday night. Hundreds of houses collaped or had their roofs torn away while nearly 20 hectares of farm produce was destroyed by the storm.” [Source: Vietnamnews, May 9, 2013]

In December 2010, Associated Press reported: Vietnam says strong winds have left five people dead and 51 others missing in the South China Sea, off the country's coast. The government's disaster agency says the winds triggered by a cold spell caused 22 fishing vessels and a container ship to capsize between over four days. It says three sailors from the container ship and 155 fishermen were rescued. The agency said in a statement that rescuers are searching for the missing, which include 23 sailors from the Vietnamese container ship and 28 local fishermen from three fishing vessels. [Source: Associated Press, December 21, 2010]

Deadly and Destructive Hailstorm in Vietnam

In March 2013, UBAlert reported: “Local officials said 26 people were injured and more than 10,000 homes were damaged during a hail storm that lasted for 20 minutes. Reports said the hail stones that pelted northern Lao Cai province were as large as 8-10 centimeters in diameter. The hail affected 26 communes and towns in the district of Muong Khuong at midnight on Wednesday. Fortunately, there have been no reports of casualties. The disaster rendered thousands of people homeless as their houses were either badly damaged or destroyed. The National Search and Rescue Committee confirmed that 26 people sustained injuries and over 10,500 houses were damaged during the storm. [Source: UBAlert, March 28, 2013 />/]

“Meanwhile, another hailstorm hit three districts in the province of Ha Giang, causing damage to 80 houses. Just six days ago, hail and a vortex ripped through Huong Khe District in Ha Tinh Province, where more than 100 houses were damaged. Two days earlier, hail also pounded the mountainous districts in Quang Nam Province as well as the district of Phong Dien in Thua Thien-Hue Province. Meanwhile, the Central Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center issued a warning that hails or thunderstorms can hit any area of the country between March and May, which marks the transition period between Vietnam's wet and dry seasons.” />/

In November 2006, AFP reported: “Thirteen people were killed in Vietnam when a hail storm hit the northern province Quang Ninh, according to Vietnam state television. Several boats sunk because of heavy rain and strong wind but it was unclear whether there were people on board, the VTV news bulletin said. Hail storms have been reported over the past few days in northern Vietnam, including in the capital Hanoi. Heavy rains have also caused serious flooding. Quang Ninh, 200 kilometers north-east of Hanoi, is famous for its world heritage site, Ha Long Bay.” [Source: AFP, November 21, 2006]

TYPHOONS IN VIETNAM

Vietnam's long 3,200-kilometers coastline is battered every year by up to 10 storms, killing hundreds, even thousands of people. The Gulf of Tonkin is a body of water between Vietnam, the Chinese Island of Hainan, and Mainland China. It provides one of the most frequently used paths for Pacific typhoons originating near the Philippines to strike the Asian mainland. Seven to eight tropical storms hit the central highlands of Vietnam each year and usually trigger flash floods and landslides. Some meteorologist predict that global warming will bring more rain to the region more rain, stronger typhoons and higher sea levels and make the flooding problem worse.

In 2008, natural disasters—most of them connected to typhoons, heavy rains and flooding— killed 550 people in Vietnam and caused damage amounting to more than $700 million dollars. In 2004, natural disasters killed 232 people and left 38 missing, injured 187 others, destroyed 4,200 houses and 3,000 hectares of rice, and killed over 2,000 cattle and 170,000 poultryin Vietnam, causing a property loss of over $57 million dollars. [Source: Xinhua, October 12, 2005]

Between 1954 and 1999, there have been 212 typhoons landing in or directly influencing Viet Nam. On average, there are about 30 typhoons originating in the Western Pacific Ocean each year of which about 10 are generated in the South China Sea. Of these, an average of 4 to 6 hit of affect Viet Nam. There are many years where at least 10 typhoons arrive in Viet Nam: recent occasions are 1964 (18 typhoons), 1973 (12), 1978 (12), and 1989 (10), 1996 (10). The areas most affected by typhoons are the coastal Provinces of the North and Central Regions. However, typhoons in the South, though less frequent, can still be extremely damaging. About 62 percent of the population and 44 percent of the whole are frequently affected by typhoons which, on average, kill some 250 people every year. The worst in this century were the 1904 typhoon in the South which caused death and injury to 5000 people, and the 1985 typhoon in Binh Tri Thien Province which killed 900 people. [Source: adrc.asia <<>>]

Typhoons are normally accompanied by storm surges. During the past 30 years, half the typhoons have caused a storm surge of over 1m, 30 percent of typhoons over 1.5m, and 11 percent of typhoons over 2.5m. These typhoons and storm surges have often overtopped - and frequently destroyed - sea dykes, flooding lowland coastal areas. In Viet Nam, the losses caused by floods and typhoons seem to be increasing over time, as in the rest of the world. For example, about 540 people were killed by floods and typhoons annually in the period 1985 to 1989, whereas in the years 1976 to 1979, the figure was 225. <<>>

On the impact of Typhoon Wutip in October 2013, Associated Press reported: In central Vietnam, people repaired homes and dragged away trees that were uprooted when Wutip slammed into the coastline. Two men were killed when a radio station antenna tower fell on them, Vietnam’s disaster agency said. Another man was killed when a wall collapsed. Close to 100,000 homes were damaged. [Source: Associated Press, October 2, 2013]

In August 2012, Typhoon Kai-Tak claimed 27 lives in floods in northern Vietnam. The BBC reported: “At least 27 people have been killed during a typhoon which swept across northern provinces of Vietnam over the weekend, bringing intense rain and strong winds. Nearly 12,000 houses were damaged and 56,800 acres (23,000 hectares) of cropland were flooded, officials said. Some of those who died were carried away by floodwaters, one died in a flood-triggered landslide. In the capital, Hanoi, where some 200 large trees were uprooted, one taxi driver was killed when a tree fell on his car. In Bac Giang province a 46-year-old woman died after a hill near her house collapsed in the middle of the night. Parts of Hanoi remained flooded and residents complained that flash floods still posed a risk despite insistence from the authorities that drainage in the capital had been improved. The Vietnamese army had prepared 20,000 soldiers, along with helicopters, rescue boats and canoes for rescue operations, but only a small number were actually deployed, reports Agence France Presse news agency. [Source: BBC, August 19, 2012]

In 2006, typhoons Chanchu, Durian and Xangsane left hundreds dead and caused million of dollars of damage. Durian killed at least 75 people in Vietnam in December. In May more than 240 fishermen and scores of boats were lost to Typhoon Chanchu. In October Typhoon Xangsane killed at least 70 people and brought widespread flooding and destruction.

A typhoon in November 2001 killed 11 people in the Central Highlands. The remnants of Typhoon Duria killed at least 22 people in July 2001. In the late 1990s, a trio of storms—Chip. Dawmm and Elis—killed 267 people and caused $100 million in damage. Many of the deaths were caused by the sinking and capsizing of small boats. In July 2003, Typhoon Koni lashed Vietnam's northern coast with winds up to 90km/h, killing two people and injuring 10. Associated Press reported: “One man was killed while anchoring his boat in the northern port of Haiphong, and another died in Ninh Binh province, said an official with the national Floods and Storm Control Committee. “Fifteen fishing boats from Thanh Hoa province were offshore when the typhoon hit and remained missing, the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported. Koni injured 10 people and damaged 250 houses and a freighter in northern Thai Binh province. It knocked down phone and power lines in Thanh Hoa province, causing a blackout for several hours, VNA said. The fast-moving storm was weakening as it moved overland.[Source: Associated Press , July 23, 2003]

Extremely Powerful Typhoons That Struck Vietnam

The 1881 Haiphong Typhoon was a monstrous typhoon that traveled through the Gulf of Tonkin and devastated Haiphong, Vietnam and the surrounding coastal area on October 8, 1881. Some 300,000 people lost their lives as the typhoon’s storm surge flooded the low-lying city. The 1881 Haiphong cyclone ranks as one of most catastrophic natural disasters in history and the third deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded. Located on a branch of the Red River delta on its northeastern edge, the port city of Haiphong is situated about 10 miles (16 km) inland from the Gulf of Tonkin. It is connected to the sea by an access channel, which, during the storm, magnified the extent of the flooding. Little is known of the social and environmental conditions there at that time. It seems that no protective barriers were in place to protect people against a typhoon.

In November 1997 Typhoon Linda raked across Vietnam's southern tip, killing 587 people and destroying crops. It was the worst storm since 1904. Many of the dead were fisherman who we out at sea when the storm hit. According to a report from the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs: During the night of 2 November 1997 Typhoon Linda hit South Vietnam affecting all the Southwestern provinces where, for two days, there were strong rains, in places as much as 100 -150 mm of rainfall. The typhoon was the strongest recorded in the area for the last 100 years and caused unexpectedly huge losses. The Government of Vietnam undertook every effort to warn populations in the areas at risk. Thanks to these efforts, more than 3,500 fishermen were rescued. The Government is also taking all measures to provide health and other services to the affected population. As of 13 November 1997, information on damage caused by the typhoon was as follows: A) 464 people killed, 857 people injured and 3,218 missing (or unaccounted for); B) 3,122 boats sunk and 774 boats missing; C) 76,609 houses destroyed and 139,445 houses damaged; D) 2,254 school rooms destroyed and 4,022 school rooms damaged; E) 349,232 rice paddies inundated. [Source: Reliefeweb.int ]

Vietnam Escapes Worst of Typhoon Haiyan

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Vietnam, days after leaving thousands dead and widespread devastation in the Philippines. Al-Jazeera reported: “The national weather forecaster said Haiyan made landfall in northern province of Quang Ninh at 5:00am local time on as a tropical storm. It was moving towards southern China and is expected to weaken to a low depression later on Monday. Downpours hit the capital, Hanoi, and houses in some northern provinces were damaged by strong winds. "Several hundred houses had their roofs ripped off. Thousands of trees in the province were uprooted," said Nguyen Cong Thuan, a disaster official in Quang Ninh province. "Three people were reported missing," he added. National disaster officials said no deaths had been reported so far on Monday, although state media said five people had died during preparations for the typhoon. [Source: Al-Jazeera, November 11, 2013 ////]

“Haiyan weakened significantly since scything through the Philippines at the weekend, and had sustained winds of 120km per hour as it hit Vietnam. That was down from winds of over 300km per hour when the storm hit the Philippines, devastating Leyte and Samar provinces, as well as other areas. More than 600,000 Vietnamese were evacuated from their homes at the weekend as Haiyan bore down on Vietnam. The storm changed course, prompting further mass evacuations of about 52,000 people in northern provinces by the coast. "People must bring enough food and necessities for three days.... Those who do not move voluntarily will be forced," online newspaper VNExpress said, adding all boats have been ordered back to shore. All schools were ordered shut in the capital and extra police were dispatched to redirect traffic in flood-prone areas. ////

Thomas Maresca wrote in USA TODAY: “The typhoon had landed in in the northern province of Quang Ninh at around 3 a.m. Monday with sustained winds of 75 mph, the equivalent of a Category One hurricane. Although it produced heavy rainfall of up to 12 inches in some areas and strong winds, damage was relatively limited. Nguyen Linh, a 27 year-old university English teacher in the northern city of Haiphong, where tens of thousands of people had been evacuated said by phone that the rain had stopped and life was quickly returning to normal. "First, we felt fortunate that (Typhoon Haiyan) didn't come to the middle of the country. And then we were glad that it was smaller than the forecast here. We all heard that it was going to be a very big storm," she said. [Source: Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, November 11, 2013 ++]

“Trees were uprooted, billboards collapsed and roofs were blown off of some houses in Quang Ninh and Haiphong provinces. Heavy rains and wind caused coastal road flooding and power outages, and a 170-foot TV tower was reported toppled in the city of Uong Bi. Local media reported 13 dead as a result of accidents during storm preparations, but there were no additional reports of deaths Monday. Francis Markus, spokesman for the Red Cross in Vietnam, said that the relief agency would not seek to mobilize emergency funding for Vietnam because the impact wasn't sufficiently serious to warrant it. "It's very lucky that this present storm system has not given rise to huge new needs," he said. "Vietnam had a very lucky escape today." ++

“In southern China, where the weakened remnants of the storm produced heavy rains on Monday, at least six are dead and five missing from Hainan and Guanxi provinces, China's Xinhua News Agency reported. The Philippines is still reeling from the destruction that Typhoon Haiyan brought on Sunday. As many as 10,000 people may have died when one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded destroyed entire villages and devastated cities with huge waves and winds of nearly 150 mph. ++ Deadly Typhoons That Struck Vietnam in 2009

In November 2009, Typhoon Mirinae left at least 123 people dead, one missing and 145 people injured in Vietnam, and caused more than 5 trillion dong ($280 million) in damage, the National Committee for Flood and Storm Control said. Van Nguyen of Bloomberg wrote: “The typhoon plowed into Vietnam’s southern central coast on November 2, causing floods that swept away nearly 2,400 houses in central and southern Vietnam, the committee said today in a statement. Mirinae’s rains submerged 19,300 hectares (47,700 acres) of rice, 47,000 hectares of vegetables, corn and sugar cane, and more than 371,000 hectares of industrial crops, such as rubber, the committee said in the statement. [Source: Van Nguyen, Bloomberg, November 8, 2009]

In September 2009, Typhoon Ketsana hit central Vietnam, killing at least 163 people and caused 14.3 trillion dong in damage. Ian Timberlake of AFP wrote: “The death toll from Typhoon Ketsana in Vietnam jumped to 162 with hundreds more injured, an official said, adding urgency to a Red Cross appeal launched to help more than 200,000 storm victims. Another 13 people remain missing and 616 are injured, said the official from the national flood and storm control committee in Hanoi. Ketsana affected 14 provinces when it made landfall on Tuesday, according to officials, but about half the deaths happened in just two areas: the central fishing province of Quang Ngai and mountainous Kon Tum. There were 47 dead in Kon Tum and 33 in Quang Ngai, officials from the flood and storm committees in those provinces said on Sunday. [Source: Ian Timberlake, AFP, October 4, 2009]

Vietnam suffers annually from tropical storms and typhoons, but this disaster is one of the worst to hit the nation in recent years. An estimated three million people in Vietnam have been affected by the typhoon, said the Red Cross, which on Friday launched an international appeal for 4.75 million dollars to help 210,000 of the neediest victims. The Red Cross said it needs help to provide rice, fresh water, and rebuild destroyed homes. "We are very happy to receive any support, money or goods," Doan Van Thai, secretary general of the Vietnam Red Cross Society, told AFP on Saturday. Thai, who had just returned from the disaster zone, said he found victims weeping over their loss. "They said they didn't know how to live in the near future because they have nothing: no food, no fresh water... even no seeds, fertilizer." With thousands of volunteers across the typhoon-struck central region, the Red Cross is the largest organization assisting victims, Thai said. When the typhoon hit, local Red Cross chapters released food, water, instant noodles, boats and other relief items from their stockpiles, the agency said, adding that those supplies are now running out. Some elderly residents in stricken areas said they had last seen a typhoon with Ketsana's force in 1964, Thai said.

Winds from the typhoon reached up to 149 kilometers (90 miles) per hour. Survivors now face flooded rice fields, dead cattle and smashed fishing boats that threaten their livelihoods, aid workers say. "The harvest for this season is probably lost," said Ugo Blanco, who is coordinating disaster response for the United Nations. He said there is a need to start thinking about the medium and longer-term impact of the disaster and how to help people in this largely rural country get back to work. Ketsana caused devastation across Southeast Asia, killing at least 293 people in the Philippines before striking Vietnam. It also claimed 17 lives in Cambodia and 24 in Laos.

Typhoon Lekima in 2007

In October 2007, Typhoon Lekima made landfall in Vietnam. About 100,000 houses were destroyed and at least 77 people were reported dead or missing in Vietnam. Associated Press reported: Rescuers in Vietnam recovered the bodies of 11 more people killed by floods and landslides triggered by Typhoon Lekima, as authorities tried to reach remote areas which have been isolated for nearly a week. The discovery of the bodies pushed the death toll across Vietnam to 77, while 11 others remain missing and are feared dead, officials said. Packing winds of 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph), Typhoon Lekima hit Vietnam central provinces late October 3. The death toll in the worst-hit province of Nghe An rose to 23 after rescue workers found a drowned body Monday night. Five people were missing, said provincial official Tran Gia Danh. "Water has receded, but very slowly," Danh said. "It has hindered our rescue efforts. Thousands of people, who are still living in isolated villages, really need food to survive." [Source: AP, October 10, 2007 +=+]

“Three more bodies were recovered late Monday in Thanh Hoa, bringing the death toll there to 17. Two people were reported missing, said Nguyen Van Hoa, a disaster official. "We have just been able to reach several parts of Thach Thanh district, as water is still everywhere," Hoa said, adding that food aid now is top priority after floodwaters wiped out the provisions of hundreds of thousands farmers. The bodies of 7 other people were found in the provinces of Ninh Binh, Son La, Hoa Binh and Yen Bai. The International Federation of the Red Cross and the Vietnamese government estimated that about 10 million Vietnamese had been affected by Typhoon Lekima, said Joe Lowry, a Red Cross official told The Associated Press from Ninh Binh. +=+

“The typhoon washed away 6,000 houses, damaged 52,000 houses and destroyed about 80,000 hectares of crops, Lowry said. "In lowland in Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh and Nghe An, we saw many people living on dikes, roofs of houses or higher areas, which is very dangerous", he said, adding that besides food, clean water, people also now shelters and protection from mosquitoes. Vietnam’s Department of Floods and Storms Control said earlier the initial damage estimate from the typhoon was 2,100 billion dong (US$131 million; ?93 million). Authorities are rushing aid to hundreds of thousands of people. Nearly 5,000 soldiers and more than 30,000 militiamen have been mobilized to help people deal with the aftermath of the flooding, Vietnam’s Department of Floods and Storms Control.” +=+

Matthew Weaver wrote in The Guardian: “Typhoon Lekima lashed into central Vietnam en route to neighbouring Laos. It whipped up winds of 80 miles an hour and destroyed more than 70,000 homes. Three people drowned, including a 13-year-old boy who was trying to anchor his family's boat during the storm. The storm made landfall late last night in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces of Vietnam. It destroyed or damaged more than 29,000 homes in Quang Binh province, where 33 people were injured by falling trees or flying debris, according to disaster official Nguyen Ngoc Dien. In the neighbouring province of Ha Tinh, to the north, 25 people were injured and more than 42,000 homes were wrecked, officials said. The typhoon was downgraded to a tropical storm after reaching Laos. Earlier, Lekima appeared to be heading for southern China, where officials evacuated 100,000 people and called 20,000 fishing boats back to harbour. It shifted course and began heading to Vietnam. Vietman's deputy prime minister, Hoang Trung Hai, said the damage could have been much worse. "Thanks to good preparatory work, the damage from the storm is not large," he told Reuters. Lekima killed at least five people in the Philippines. [Source: Matthew Weaver and agencies, The Guardian, October 4, 2007]

In August 2007, Earthweek reported: “Vietnamese emergency teams moved thousands of people along the country’s central coast to higher ground after Tropical Storm 06W dumped heavy rain on the region, killing 14 people. Most of the deaths were in the coffee-growing region of the Central Highlands where flash floods swept away people, houses, rice and corn crops. But coffee traders said the industry’s crops were not at risk, and that the rain had actually helped green coffee cherries develop in advance of the October harvest. The storm dumped up to 20 inches (500 mm) of rain on the coffee belt and a swathe of coastal provinces, causing rivers to rise to dangerous levels. In a disaster report issued on Tuesday, officials in Hanoi said many areas were cut off by floods unleashed as the storm drifted northward along the coast before dissipating over far northern Vietnam’s mountainous terrain. Tropical Storm 06W was not given a name because it attained storm force for only a brief period of time. It was the second tropical cyclone to strike Vietnam this year. Remnants of Tropical Storm Toraji hit the country's northern areas last month, but caused minimal damage. “[Source: Earthweek, August 10, 2007]

Typhoon Durian Kills at Least 70 in Vietnam in December 2006

In December 2006, Typhoon Durian killed at least 70 people killed with another 23 missing. AFP reported: “More than 210,000 houses in the country's south were damaged by the storm, which also sank more than 800 moored fishing boats, said the national committee on flood and storm control in its last official report. Four days after the storm, officials said they still hoped those missing could be found alive. "Many of them are fishermen, missing in waters close to shore. We expect they would turn up, like some others have done over the past two days," said Nguyen Ngoc Loc, from the committee on flood and storm control of Ba Ria Vung Tau province. In various parts of the country, rescue workers and local residents were clearing the mess of broken power poles, fallen trees and collapsed buildings. Ba Ria Vung Tau southern province was the worst hit, with 50 deaths and 13 missing. The storm left more than 1,300 people dead or missing in the Philippines before weakening into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Thailand, after its hit on Vietnam. [Source: Agence France Presse, December 7, 2006]

Two days earlier, AFP reported: “At least 55 people died and 26 were missing when severe tropical storm Durian hit Vietnam, destroying houses and sinking boats after wreaking deadly havoc in the Philippines, officials said. The storm was downgraded from the powerful typhoon. Twenty-eight people died and sixteen were missing in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, east of Ho Chi Minh City, in a province which has tourist resorts and offshore oil rigs, said Nguyen Ngoc Loc of the flood and storm control committee. In the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, 17 people were reported dead and there were fears of more casualties in the poor and geographically flat region, where many people live in wooden huts or on house boats. Durian made landfall in southern Vietnam overnight, with lashing rains and wind speeds of nearly 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour, smashing thousands of houses, uprooting trees and bringing down power lines. [Source: Agence France Presse, December 5, 2006 /+\]

“It sank more than 800 boats moored on a remote South China Sea island before brushing Ho Chi Minh City, the country's largest city, and heading southwest across the Mekong Delta. The Vietnamese island of Phu Quy, 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, suffered heavy damage as the storm lifted the roofs off more than 1,000 houses, but there were no reported casualties. Two people were reported dead in Tien Giang province, two were missing and 20 were injured, said flood and storm control committee official Nguyen Duc Thinh. "More than 6,600 houses were damaged and 26 schools unroofed," he said, adding that authorities had evacuated nearly 13,000 people. Two more people were killed by falling trees in Binh Thuan province, three people died in Phu Yen province, and one was killed in Vinh Long, with three more missing, officials said. /+\

“Meteorologists had expected the storm to hit further north, where troops had helped in evacuating tens of thousands of people, but preventive action in the provinces further south appears to have averted a worse disaster. "We had evacuated 3,500 people," said Tran Thi Luan, head of the Ben Tre provincial flood and storm control committee. "If the evacuation had not happened, the toll would have become much higher. The storm was really strong." Wind speeds slowed to 100 km/h in the afternoon, when Luan said "the weather seems to be better, but we do not dare yet tell people that the storm is over, because this is a really complicated storm." /+\

“Ho Chi Minh City escaped the worst as the eye of the storm passed to the south. Vietnam television, however, said two people were killed in the country's business capital. More than 8,000 people were evacuated from high-risk areas, but there were still fears for some people missing. Officials in the seaside resort of Nha Trang said they had no immediate reports of casualties. Days before th government barred fishing vessels from leaving harbour and warned those at sea to seek shelter to avoid the typhoon.

Typhoon Xangsane Kills 70 in October 2006

In October 2006, more than 70 people in Vietnam were confirmed dead or missing as a result of Typhoon Xangsane, which also injured over 520 people. Twenty-six people were killed in Danang and another 43 people were killed in other central provinces. AFP reported: “Rescuers had found 69 bodies and two people were still missing since the storm hit central Vietnam after killing more than 200 people in the Philippines, said the national committee on flood and storm control on Friday. Total economic losses in Vietnam have been estimated at more than 620 million dollars with 300,000 houses and nearly 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of crops affected. The United States it would give 100,000 dollars to Red Cross agencies to help disaster relief. [Source: Agence France Presse - October 6, 2006]

The BBC reported: “At least 15 people in Vietnam are now known to have died as a result of Typhoon Xangsane, which buffeted central provinces over the weekend. The coastal city of Danang was hardest hit, with hundreds of people injured and thousands of homes destroyed. The typhoon devastated areas of the Philippines last week, killing at least 76 people and leaving millions without power and clean drinking water. Xangsane has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. [Source: BBC News, October 2, 2006 ***]

“Four provinces in central Vietnam - Danang, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai - bore the brunt of the typhoon. "The areas in the typhoon's direct path looked like they were just bombarded by B-52s" Nguyen Ngoc Quang, deputy provincial governor of Quang Nam, told reporters. Trees were uprooted and roofs blown off houses, while there was concern for fishermen who did not return to port. Electricity and telephone lines were also cut in many areas, with air and train travel disrupted. The worst of the damage was reported in Danang, where the typhoon hit at around 0900 local time (0200 GMT) on Saturday. The cost of damages in Danang alone will amount to $200m, the authorities estimate, with more than 5,000 houses were washed away, 166,000 damaged and 19 vessels sunk. "When I returned home, there was nothing left," said Danang resident Pham Thi Thanh. ***

“Flooding was also reported in the port town of Hoi An, a popular tourist spot, and the Huong River was said to be rising in the former imperial capital of Hue. Ahead of the storm, authorities had reinforced sea defenses and evacuated abut 200,000 residents from vulnerable central areas. While the typhoon has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, there are still strong risks of landslides and further flooding in the hills. Xangsane caused severe damage in the Philippines, leaving many roads and bridges impassable. Dozens of people are still missing there. The typhoon was the strongest to hit the capital, Manila, in 11 years, weather officials said. ***

Typhoon Chanchu Leaves 267 Dead or Missing in May 2006

In May 2006, Typhoon Chanchu left 267 people dead or missing. Though Chanchu did not impact Vietnam's coast, it sank eleven ships from the country, leaving 44 dead and at least 190 Vietnamese missing. The other seven ships in the area managed to stay afloat and get help. In Phu Yen province, three students were also missing, reportedly swept away while swimming at sea. Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) estimated that the maximum sustained wind speed near its center reached 185 km/h, making it the most intense typhoon on HKO's record to enter the South China Sea in May. The name submitted by Macau means "pearl".

Xinhua reported: “Eighteen Vietnamese fishing ships with a total of 287 people on board have gone missing in Typhoon Chanchu, local newspaper Saigon Liberation reported. The 18 ships from the four central provinces of Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh had been defined by May 21 either sinking or going missing, the newspaper quoted Vietnamese deputy fisheries minister Nguyen Viet Thang as saying. [Source: Xinhua, May 22, 2006 *=*]

“According to information released at a meeting between the People's Committee of Da Nang and the deputy minister on Sunday morning, Da Nang had seven fishing ships sunk and gone missing in the typhoon. Local authorities estimated that 163 fishermen on the seven ships could have died, and 53 others could have gone missing. Vietnam has yet to have full statistics of the number of ships and fishermen hit by the typhoon. Local media have recently reported dozens of ships with hundreds of people on board have either sunk or gone missing, causing dozens of deaths. *=*

“By 21:30 of May 20, Chinese forces had rescued a total of 21 Vietnamese fishing ships sailing in the Chinese waters hit by the typhoon, the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi said, noting that they had supplied fuel, drinking water and foodstuffs to 15 Vietnamese ships with 330 fishermen on board. Of the people, 21 have died and six have been injured, the embassy noted.

Chanchu, which means "pearl", formed in the Pacific, about 550 kilometers east of Mindanao island in the Philippines on May 9. It hit the central Philippines, then headed to central Vietnam, but suddenly changed its direction to southern China, killing dozens of people and affecting thousands of others from the three countries. China evacuated more than 600,000 people before Chanchu, packing winds up to 170 kph (106 mph), made landfall in the southern coast. In the Philippines, Chanchu killed 41 people last weekend and "affected" 53,300 people in wide areas of Luzon and the Visayas, authorities said.

Two weeks after the typhoon AFP reported: “Vietnam has called off its search for sailors hit by Typhoon Chanchu in the South China Sea, with 21 bodies found and 220 missing fishermen presumed dead, a rescue official said. "After more than 10 days of intensive search and rescue operations from May 20, the chance of finding survivors has become very small, so we decided to stop the search on Friday," said the official. The typhoon sank at least 17 fishing boats when it caught the sailors off-guard in waters more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from home. Chinese rescue vessels gave emergency aid to more than 330 Vietnamese sailors on 21 ships near the remote island of Dongsha, southeast of Hong Kong, supplying them with water, food and fuel after the storm.Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered a review of the national meteorological service, which had issued only 24-weather forecasts to the fishermen, compared to 48 and 72-hour forecasts common elsewhere. The head of the service, Le Cong Thanh, has since stepped down. [Source: Agence France Presse - June 3, 2006]

China Saves 330 Vietnam Fishermen Caught in Typhoon

Xinhua reported: “A total of 330 Vietnamese fishermen caught in Typhoon Chanchu have been saved by Chinese rescuers, said China Maritime Search and Rescue Center. The center said they saved 97 Vietnamese fishermen on three boats, with 18 bodies aboard. According to the center, by 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Chinese rescue ship "Nanhaijiu 111" had found 21 Vietnamese fishing boats in danger in the sea areas of the Dongsha Islands, in the South China Sea. "Nanhaijiu 111" has provided food, fresh water and fuel to 306 Vietnamese fishermen on 14 fishing boats, said the center. On Friday afternoon, another Chinese rescue ship "Dejin" found and saved another endangered Vietnamese fishing boat with 24 fishermen on board near the Dongsha Islands. [Source: Xinhua, May 21, 2006 <=>]

“The rescue operation has lasted for more than 40 hours, and Chinese rescuers are continuing their search for other endangered Vietnamese fishermen, who are estimated at more than one hundred. The center said they received a telegraph from the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam afternoon, which said 22 Vietnamese fishing boats and hundreds of fishermen were caught in the storms brought by Typhoon Chanchu, running out of oil and fresh water. Having lost contact with them, the Vietnamese side asked the Chinese side for help. <=>

“The rescue center immediately launched an emergency rescue program, and one hour later "Nanhaijiu 111" rescue ship was on the way to the site. It arrived at Dongsha at 3:33 a.m. on Saturday after about 10 hours voyage. The Chinese Ministry of Communications said during the successful large-scale international rescue operation ever launched by China, they have contacted with the Hong Kong maritime rescue center for assistance.While alarming the passing ships for safe voyage, the center also asked them to give a hand in search of the missing Vietnamese fishermen. <=>

“According to the center, at 6:40 a.m. Saturday, after three-hour search upon its arrival, "Nanhaijiu 111" got in tough with one Vietnamese fishing boat, "DNA09189", which carried 32 fishermen and eight bodies. Rescuers helped the fishing boat regain the capability to sail independently and invited it to join the search for the other Vietnamese fishing boats. By 11:47, another two Vietnamese fishing boats, "DNA90345" and "DNA90299", were found some 20 nautical miles off the Dongsha Islands. There were 32 fishermen and five bodies on "DNA90345", and 33 fishermen and five bodies on "DNA90299". Rescuers then offered fresh water, food and fuel to the two Vietnamese fishing boats. By 16:45, Chinese rescuers found nine more Vietnamese fishing boats about eight nautical miles off the Dongsha Islands, said the center. <=>

“The center said it kept reporting the progress to the Vietnam's national rescue center. On Saturday, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry called the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, conveying the sincere thanks of the Vietnamese government for China's help to the endangered Vietnamese fishermen, and hoping the Chinese side could continue the rescue operation. Rescuers said the excited Vietnamese fishermen, after being saved, stammered thanks in Cantonese. Some of them raised posters they wrote in both Chinese and English which read "Thank the Chinese government! Thank Chinese sailors! Thank you!" <=>

Aftermath of Typhoon Chanchu

Thanh Nien reported: “More survivors returned to shore Tuesday with scores still missing, leaving families and fishing companies in tatters while government officials visit the scene. A total of 33 Vietnamese fishermen that survived Typhoon Chanchu some 1000km out on the East Sea returned to shore Tuesday afternoon, with more than 200 others still unaccounted for. Two search and rescue ships carrying the 33 survivors and the bodies of 15 victims arrived at Danang port in central Vietnam at nearly 2pm, where thousands of worried relatives were waiting for news of their loved ones. [Source: Truong Dien Thang, Huu Tra and The Thinh, Thanh Nien, May 24, 2006 :::]

“Tearful family members climbed rooftops and trees to get a glimpse for survivors inside a closed-off area in the port. Tired and sun-scorched survivors were transferred from the port to the Danang General Hospital for health checks, surrounded by grieving relatives. The deceased, after being identified were transported to their native lands for burial. Still two of the 15 bodies have yet to be identified and they are being kept at the city’s main hospital for DNA tests. :::

“According to the Flood and Storm Prevention Office in the central region, 12 Vietnam boats were confirmed sunk, seven with 169 fishermen from Danang, and five with 43 seafarers from Quang Ngai. In addition, three Danang vessels with 60 people on board and one ship with 21 fishermen from Quang Nam have yet to be contacted or found. Relatives have been waiting for almost a week in Danang, hardest hit in terms of victims, to hear of survivors. :::

Typhoon Kai Tak Batters Vietnam in November 2005

Eighteen people including three children are confirmed dead and two are missing after Typhoon Kai Tak battered central Vietnam, officials said. "Two people remain missing and we are pursuing the search for them today," said Nguyen Van Hung, from the flood and storm committee in the central city of Danang, revising the number of missing from his earlier figure of 10. "The typhoon weakened into a tropical depression after battering the central coastal regions," Hung said. "But heavy rains are persisting in the (northern) Red River region." The storm has so far caused material damage of about $11 million dollars, he said. [Source: Agence France Presse, November 3, 2005 <*<]

AFP reported: “A Filipino expert who was working at the Bong Mieu gold mine in Quang Nam province was killed in the flooding, Hung said. A spokeswoman for the Philippine embassy said diplomats were trying to get details. Scores of fishing boats may have sunk, official reports said. In an accident unrelated to the typhoon, a ferry capsized Wednesday on a river in Quang Nam province, leaving five people dead and four missing. "It was an accident and has no link with the extreme weather so we are not adding the casualties from it to the toll from the typhoon," Hung said. Hung said crops on 12,800 hectares (31,600 acres) of farmland have been destroyed and traffic was disrupted in the region. <*<

“Airports in Danang and Hue were closed but have since reopened. A section of the north-south railway was submerged, prompting authorities to cancel all train services through central Vietnam. Sections of a national highway were also sealed off. Seaside resorts and tourist areas in the region, including those at Danang and Hoi An, were closed. More than 9,000 houses were destroyed or badly damaged and several thousand people were displaced, Hung said. The region is prone to seasonal flooding and frequent typhoons that often cause widespread destruction and loss of life. Thirty-one people were killed last month by floods in the region.” <*<

Typhoon Damrey in September, 2005

Early in the morning of September 27, 2005, Vietnam was struck by a strong Pacific typhoon—Typhoon Damrey—which caused more than 150 deaths in Vietnam, almost half of them in Haiphong. Angus M. Gunn wrote in ABC, CLIO: “Aware that the typhoon was approaching, preparations were made on the previous day to provide shelter from the storm by moving 2,000 people to areas away from the coast and giving them supplies of food and water that would suffice for several days. Dikes near the coast, built some years earlier to minimize the effects of storm surges of water, were already in place. The typhoon began as a tropical storm in the Philippine Sea east of the Philippines on September 20, 2005, but as it passed over Luzon and moved into the warm waters of the South China Sea, it became a typhoon. The typhoon crossed over China's Hainan Island on September 25 and reached the coast of Vietnam early on September 27 with sustained winds of 100 mph. Chinese and Vietnamese authorities had been watching the approach of this typhoon with much concern, and it turned out to be the worst typhoon the country had experienced in several decades as its winds caused widespread flooding and destruction along the coast. The Maritime Search and Rescue Center was rendered helpless as a major dike protecting it had collapsed under the typhoon. The Center's inability to rescue the people overwhelmed by storm surge may account for the high death toll. [Source: Angus M. Gunn, History and the Headlines, ABC, CLIO]

AFP reported: “Vietnam's death toll from Typhoon Damrey rose to 63 as many of the 300,000 people evacuated ahead of the storm trickled back to their devastated villages and towns across the country's north. Six people died in central Nghe An province in the floods sparked by the storm, which rocked vast swathes of East Asia for more than a week, according the region's flood control official Ha Huy Thong. Officials earlier said 57 people had died across northern Vietnam, 51 of them in the interior Yen Bai province alone, where flood control official Nguyen Dinh Vo said 33 bodies had been recovered by Friday. "Military forces have been helping us in clearing the damage caused by flooding," Vo said. "We give priority to finding the bodies of dead people, and are trying to trace those missing." [Source: Agence France Presse - September 30, 2005 ||||]

“Officials have said the numbers missing could not be ascertained as entire families had been washed away. The typhoon, packing winds of 200 kilometers (125 miles) per hour, left at least 111 people dead during its sweep through East Asia -- 63 in Vietnam, 25 in China, 16 in the Philippines, and seven in Thailand. In addition, a suspected cholera outbreak in the typhoon-hit eastern Philippines had killed nine people with nearly 200 hospitalized, a military official in Legaspi city said. ||||

“Flood official Thong in Vietnam's Nghe An province said: "People evacuated have been coming back to their houses." But he noted that hundreds of houses had been flooded or had their roofs blown off. "We haven't really rehabilitated these houses as we are still waiting for more support from the provincial and central level," Thong said. Elsewhere in Vietnam thousands of houses and other buildings were reported to have been blown away, with scores of kilometers of sea dykes breached. Infrastructure including power and communications was disrupted and roads washed away in several provinces. Trees were uprooted and landslides occurred in several places. The typhoon, which Vietnamese officials described as the most violent in a decade, also flooded vast areas of agricultural land. ||||

Death and Destruction from Typhoon Damrey in September, 2005

AFP reported: “Northern Vietnam was reeling from the aftermath of Typhoon Damrey which triggered landslides and flooding. Government officials said most of the dead were in the mountainous province of Yen Bai where the typhoon caused flash floods, and that a major rescue operation was now under way. "We have recovered the bodies of 24 victims and a massive search for more victims is proceeding," provincial flood control official Nguyen Dinh Vo told AFP from Yen Bai City, northwest of Hanoi. Many bodies were still inaccessible, he said, adding that in all 51 people had died in the province. At least six other deaths have been recorded in northern provinces from the typhoon which struck Vietnam Tuesday before blowing itself out over Laos and Thailand. [Source: Agence France Presse - September 29, 2005 ^^^]

“Vietnamese officials said the violent storm destroyed over 10,000 houses and smashed through 54 kilometers of dykes. Some 200 schools and 45 medical clinics also suffered damage. The typhoon, which Vietnamese officials described as the most powerful in a decade, also knocked out electricity and communications in several provinces, and flooded more than 60,000 hectares (about 150,000 acres) of crops. ^^^

"The coastal regions had prepared well for the typhoon and had managed to limit the number of victims, but the northwestern mountainous provinces were caught out as the flooding happened too rapidly and they lacked weather information," said Nguyen Lan Chau of Vietnam's national meteorology center. To Van Toan, an official from the national committee for disaster control said: "We always try to forecast but it is in fact very difficult. The point is it came at night time, therefore, the consequences were huge." Prime Minister Phan Van Khai was shown on television late Wednesday telling a cabinet meeting that the greatest priority was to reinforce the network of dykes that had been breached. "At the same time we have to encourage the social organizations and local authorities to help people restore their livelihood," Khai said. Some 300,000 people had been evacuated from the coast of northern Vietnam as Typhoon Damrey approached. Thailand's interior ministry said Thursday the typhoon left at least seven people dead and four others missing in the north of the country, where it also left bridges and roads impassable. ^^^

Typhoon Lingling Kills 16 in Vietnam in November 2001,

In mid-November 2001, Typhoon Lingling killed 26 people, mostly in Phu Yen, injured dozens and left 13,000 homeless in central Vietnam after killing hundreds in the Philippines. Making landfall in Vietnam early in the morning, Lingling brought winds gusting up to 83 miles per hour, and torrential rain to seven provinces from Quang Tri to Khanh Hoa, 312 miles to the south. [Source: Reuters, November 12, 2001 **]

Reuters reported: “Disaster management officials said the typhoon flattened 2,456 houses -- homes to more than 12,000 people -- and damaged 3,281 others. At least 167 docked fishing vessels were damaged or sunk. Officials said 13 people died in Phu Yen province, two in Binh Dinh and one in Quang Ngai. A 16-year-old boy was electrocuted in Quang Ngai after Lingling tore through power lines and a three-year-old child was killed in a collapsed house in Binh Dinh. At total of 76 people were reported injured. **

Meteorologists said the typhoon weakened to a tropical low pressure system after making landfall but torrential rain swelled some rivers to danger levels, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of families. Officials in Binh Dinh province said thousands of trees had been uprooted and 74 fishing boats damaged or sunk. A Reuters Video News cameraman saw dozens of big trees uprooted on north-south Highway One running through Phu Yen and in its capital Tuy Hoa, about 250 miles northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. **

Le Anh Tuan, a 40-year-old Tuy Hoa resident, said the typhoon took about three hours to pass over his house. "My wife, my children and I had to hide here. We didn't dare go out,'' he said. A disaster official in Quang Ngai said about 400 families were evacuated on Sunday from low-lying areas around Tuy Hoa. Lingling was the first typhoon to hit central Vietnam this year, although last month a tropical low pressure system brought torrential rains and floods to eight central provinces, killing at least 44 people. Meteorologists said Lingling moved west across toward northern Cambodia and southern Laos at about 10 miles an hour. An exporter in the key coffee-growing province of Daklak in Vietnam's Central Highlands bordering Cambodia said rains had disrupted the harvest but no damage to coffee trees had been reported. The official in Quang Ngai said rains would swell rivers there to danger levels at which low-lying land would be submerged and dykes threatened by collapse. **

149 Vietnamese Fishermen Missing After December 2001 Storm Kajiki

In December 2001, Reuters reported: “Authorities in central Vietnam said they had located 14 fishermen sheltering from heavy weather caused by tropical storm Kajiki, but were still awaiting news of 149 others aboard 12 missing fishing vessels. The 14 fishermen had called home from the Paracel archipelago, where they took shelter from the storm, said a senior border official on Ly Son island off the province of Quang Ngai. [Source: Reuters, December 10, 2001 ^+^]

"They are on a deep-water fishing vessel which has a radio so they knew of the storm," he told Reuters. "They have managed to telephone home saying they are safe in the Paracels." He hoped that the other 12 vessels with 149 fishermen aboard had managed to take refuge at the Spratly archipelago, but authorities had had no contact with them, the official added. The vessels have been missing since the Kajiki approached on Friday. The official said authorities in nearby coastal provinces had been asked to help search for the fishermen. "These vessels left nine or 10 days ago, before the storm came, so they may not have heard of it," he said. ^+^

“A report by the National Center for Hydro Meteorology said that at 1 p.m. (0600 GMT) a tropical low pressure system formed as Kajiki weakened overnight and moved closer to the coast between Danang and Binh Dinh province, 290 kilometers (180 miles) to the south. It said the system was forecast to bring rains to six central provinces, including Danang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh, and cause strong sea swells. The report said in the next 12 hours, the system would be virtually stationary, with wind speeds at its center at Force Six on the Beaufort Scale, or up to 49 kph, with some stronger gusts. High waves, rains and strong winds were lashing the island on Monday. In Danang said torrential rains fell on Monday morning but stopped in the afternoon, although the weather remained cloudy, an official there. ^+^

“Traders in Vietnam's coffee belt bordering the coastal provinces of Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa said no rains had fallen there over the weekend, but the weather was cloudy on Monday. They expected no impact on the crop because harvesting was 65 to 80 percent complete. A weather report for the key coffee province of Daklak forecast light rain in the center and southwest but none in its eastern regions. ^+^

Tourists among Six Dead as Storm Lashes Vietnam

In August 2000, Reuters reported: “At least six people were killed, two of them Indian tourists, and several reported missing, including a Thai tourist, after tropical storm Kaemi lashed Vietnam's coast, police and officials said. The official Vietnam News newspaper said several fishing boats were reported to have sunk in rough seas off the central coast and another 80 failed to return to shore after the storm hit. Rescue officials said a Vietnamese trawler saved 12 Thai sailors from the Bangluang, who had been in the water since the previous day. The Thai official said he hoped for more details once the Vietnamese trawler carrying the 12 rescued arrived in Ho Chi Minh City. [Source: Reuters, August 23, 2000]

Police said the two Indian tourists drowned after a whirlwind capsized two tour boats in the northern tourist area of Halong Bay, northeast of Hanoi. An officer told Reuters two Vietnamese women and a female Thai tourist were still missing, but 16 other people had been rescued from the boats. He gave no names of the dead tourists. Official media reported four Vietnamese deaths in the central coast area, which is lashed by tropical storms and typhoons every year. A man was electrocuted in the central city of Danang, a child was killed by lightning in Thua Thien Hue province, and in Quang Ngai province a man was swept away in a flood and a woman killed when her house collapsed. An official of the Thai consulate in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam said 11 Thai sailors were still missing after their cargo vessel sank near the Spratly Islands last week.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Vietnamtourism. com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, CIA World Factbook, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, Fox News and various websites, books and other publications identified in the text.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

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