10/01/2013, 00.00
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At least 33 dead and 70 thousand displaced by typhoon Wutip in central Vietnam

Now downgraded to a tropical storm , it is heading to Laos . Experts fear the historic Vietnamese cities of Hue and Hoi An, are in danger of floods. According to state media are about 250 thousand homes destroyed or damaged. In Cambodia dozens of victims in the last two weeks from devastating floods.

Hue (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The death toll stands at 33 victims from the passage of typhoon Wutip ( now downgraded to a tropical storm ) , which has struck Vietnam with dozens wounded and missing, including about 70 fishermen surprised by the passage of the  typhoon while they were in the open sea. According to reports from the Hanoi Central Committee which surveys storms and floods , central Vietnam - in particular the province of Quang Binh - is worst hit with several accidents. Yesterday evening the collapse of a building caused the death of three persons with 23 victims in total in the area and at least 29 thousand displaced people.

Added to this grim toll are the dead registered in the last two weeks in Cambodia, where a series of devastating floods caused at least 30 deaths and the displacement of about 9 thousand families. The confirmation comes from Keo Vy , chief of the Cambodian Civil Protection , who calls on the population to maintain maximum alert for possible new natural disasters.

The Vietnamese state media reported that at least 250 thousand houses have been destroyed or have suffered serious damage ; tens of thousands of fields have been covered entirely by water brought by the typhoon, with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Meanwhile, China has allotted navy vessels and aircraft to search for 72 sailors - on board three fishing vessels - who are still missing at sea after their boat capsized .

Since morning typhoon Wutip has lost strength and been downgraded to a tropical depression , which is heading towards nearby Laos. Meanwhile, damage assessment has begun, although at the moment there are still no official figures from Hanoi. Over 70 thousand people are reported displaced, most of whom come from coastal areas because of the danger of devastating floods. UNESCO experts warn of possible serious damage to the historic town of Hoi An and the ancient imperial capital Hue.

There are on average a dozen high intensity tropical storms in Vietnam each year, which often cause heavy losses in terms of human lives and damage to property. In recent weeks, the floods have killed 24 people in Vietnam, at least 30 in Cambodia and 22 in neighboring Thailand . Even the Philippines and Taiwan have been affected recently by the passage of typhoons and tornadoes that have sown death and destruction.


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