Typhoon Xangsane, flood toll reaches 169

from Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
Published on 05 Oct 2006
HANOI, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Flooding killed dozens of people in the days after Typhoon Xangsane raked the Philippines and Vietnam, officials said on Thursday as the combined death toll rose to at least 169 with 79 others missing.

The Vietnam government said 59 people died and 7 were missing after the typhoon hit on Sunday, but state-run media accounts indicated a higher death toll of at least 68, citing provincial disaster reports.

The typhoon's fierce winds and rain destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes when it slammed into Vietnam's central coast after bringing parts of the Philippines, including the capital Manila, to a standstill last week.

In Vietnam, nearly 320,000 homes were destroyed or submerged. Xangsane, which means "elephant" in the Lao language, damaged roads, telecommunications and power networks, fisheries and crops along a roughly 1,000 km (600-mile) stretch.

The government estimated the cost of the damage at 10 trillion dong ($624 million).

Workers have been cleaning up the resort city of Danang and the nearby UNESCO-heritage town of Hoi An. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) tourism ministers meeting is scheduled for Oct. 12 to 17 in Hoi An.

In the Philippines, the typhoon killed 110 people, injured 88 and 72 were missing, officials said on Thursday.

More than 2.3 million people were affected by the typhoon in the Philippines and about 80,000 remained in temporary shelters after losing their homes in the disaster.

The typhoon weakened into a tropical storm, moved west to Laos and dissipated over northern Thailand.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are killed and property and crops damaged each year by tropical storms in Vietnam and the Philippines, which has the South China Sea between them.

(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh in HANOI; Carmel Crimmins in MANILA)

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