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Storm Vamco hits Vietnam as Philippines toll rises

November 15, 2020

At least five people have been injured in Vietnam as the storm leaves a trail of devastation in the Philippines. Vamco is easing slightly after it was labeled as a typhoon with winds of up to 155 kilometers per hour.

Residents wade through knee deep mud
Image: Rouelle Umali/Xinhua/picture alliance

Storm Vamco barreled into Vietnam on Sunday after wreaking devastation in the Philippines , where the death toll rose further and the search for survivors continued.

Vietnam's Disaster Management Authority said at least five people were injured but no fatalities were reported.

The storm, which was downgraded from a typhoon, made landfall with winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour (56 mph), uprooting trees and ripping the roofs off houses and schools.

In an effort to reduce the number of casualties, Vietnamese authorities had evacuated some 650,000 residents from seven coastal provinces to higher and safer ground.

Battered by multiple storms

Vamco is the latest in a series of storms that have pummeled Vietnam over the past six weeks, causing flooding and landslides that have resulted in the deaths of at least 159 people while 70 others are still missing.

Read more: Extreme weather explained: How climate change makes storms stronger

The severe weather events have damaged or destroyed more than 400,000 homes, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Roads and bridges have been washed away, power supplies disrupted, and crucial food crops ruined, meaning at least 150,000 people are at risk of going hungry.

A flooded village in the Philippines
The death toll in the Philippines continues to rise after homes in Cagayan Province were submerged in the floods caused by Typhoon VamcoImage: The Philippine Coast Guard/Xinhua/picture alliance

Philippines devastation

Vamco's strength has diminished since pummeling the Philippines earlier this week with winds of up to 155 kilometers per hour.

The typhoon caused some of the worst flooding in years, swamping villages, destroying crops and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Philippine authorities said Sunday the death toll had risen to 67, though floodwaters are now receding, giving hope that the worst could be over.

Twelve people are still missing and emergency teams have are now concentrating on rescuing residents trapped in their submerged homes or on their rooftops.

jsi/mm (AFP, Reuters)