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People brave strong winds and rain on a street as a typhoon hit Haikou in south China's Hainan province, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011.
People brave strong winds and rain on a street as a typhoon hit Haikou in south China's Hainan province, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011.
Image: AP Photo

Asia reels from floods as storm hits Vietnam

Monsoon flooding, typhoons and storms across Asia have left more than 600 people dead or missing in recent weeks. Today, Vietnam has had to evacuate tens of thousands of people ahead of a tropical storm.
Sep 30th 2011, 2:16 PM 630 0

A TROPICAL STORM whacked into Vietnam on Friday, forcing 20,000 people to be evacuated, as the Philippines braced for a new typhoon and several Asian countries reeled under floods after some of the wildest weather this summer.

Prolonged monsoon flooding, typhoons and storms have wreaked untold havoc in the region, leaving more than 600 people dead or missing in India, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, China, Pakistan and Vietnam in the last four months. In India alone, the damage is estimated to be worth $1 billion, with the worst-hit state of Orissa accounting for $726 million.

Several studies suggest an intensification of the Asian summer monsoon rainfall with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, the state-run Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said. Still, it is not clear that this is entirely because of climate change, especially in India, it added.

After pummeling the Philippines and China this week, Typhoon Nesat was downgraded to a tropical storm just before churning into northern Vietnam on Friday afternoon with sustained wind speeds of up to 118 kph, according to the national weather forecasting centre.

Heavy rains were reported in northern and central areas. Warnings were issued for flash floods and landslides in mountainous regions, and for flooding in low-lying areas. High winds whipped through the streets of the capital, Hanoi.

The storm had flooded streets across the southern Chinese island of Hainan on Thursday, forcing some 300,000 people to flee their homes, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said.

On Tuesday, Nesat bashed the Philippines, killing at least 43 people and leaving 30 others missing after causing one of the worst floods in decades in the capital, Manila.

The damage was estimated at $91 million, and preparations were already under way for Typhoon Nalgae, which was headed toward the northern Philippines. It’s expected to pack winds of 140 kph and gusts of 170 kph, gaining more strength before making landfall early Saturday and dumping heavy rains, forecasters said.

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Associated Press

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