by Staff Writers
Hanoi (AFP) Aug 20, 2012
Strong wind and rain in northern Vietnam unleashed by Typhoon Kai-Tak have killed at least 17 people, damaged thousands of houses and submerged valuable crops, authorities said Monday.
The typhoon, which made landfall late Friday, brought winds of about 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour, according to the national committee on flood and storm control.
Many of the dead are believed to have been killed in landslides or while attempting to cross rivers swollen by heavy rain.
In the capital Hanoi, about 200 trees were uprooted and a huge sinkhole appeared in the middle of a major road.
According to an official update, more than 12,000 houses were damaged and 30,500 hectares (75,000 acres) of cropland were flooded nationwide.
The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression on Saturday.
Before slamming into Vietnam, the typhoon killed four people in the Philippines and two in China, where the authorities relocated 530,000 people, according to state media there.
Typhoon brings flashfloods, landslides to Philippines
The storm, which was upgraded from a tropical storm, was moving slowly northwards off the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon while battering the mountainous region with powerful downpours.
The heavy rain caused landslides that damaged eight major highways, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Tembin, packing maximum winds of 130 kilometres (681 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 160 kph, was expected to remain off the northern tip of Luzon for more than a day, the council added.
Local communities were warned to monitor the levels of rivers and streams in their area and prepare for evacuations in case they begin to rise.
Storms and flooding from torrential rains have left at least 170 people dead this month.
An average of 20 tropical storms or typhoons hit the Philippines each year.
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