Typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam with deadly force

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Typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam with deadly force

Typhoon Damrey has claimed 20 human lives and left 17 people missing after hitting Vietnam's central region on Saturday morning, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said here on Saturday evening.

One person was killed and four others reported missing in the provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, disaster officials there said.

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.

According to the Associated Press, at least five other people are reported missing.

Ahead of the typhoon's arrival, KhanhHoa, Phu Yen, BinhDinh, BinhThuan and NinhThuan provinces made plans to evacuate over 75,000 households with 386,000 people in case of an emergency. There was also extensive damage to the province's rice fields and other crops.

Six ships reportedly capsized with 61 people on board in the South China Sea.

Authorities have rescued 227 people, while more than 33,000 have been displaced.

"Damrey will continue tracking westward farther inland and will continue to rapidly weaken over the mountainous terrain", Lam said.

At least 371 houses totally collapsed and almost 49,000 houses were partly destroyed.

Last month, scores of people were killed when a tropical storm hit several of Vietnams's northern and central provinces.

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