Vietnam's death toll from Typhoon Damrey nears 50

Vietnam's death toll from Typhoon Damrey nears 50

Vietnam's death toll from Typhoon Damrey nears 50

Updated 6 November 2017, 21:40 AEDT

The death toll from the typhoon that hit Vietnam rises to at least 49, days before the nation hosts the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.

The death toll from the typhoon that struck Vietnam at the weekend has risen to at least 49, the Vietnamese Government has said.

After Typhoon Damrey's winds tore off roofs, felled trees and ripped up electricity poles; heavy rains brought floods to central Vietnam just days before the region is due to host the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.

The Communist state's Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said 49 people had been killed and 27 were missing.

It did not say how the victims died, but said most casualties were in Khan Hoa province near the city of Nha Trang, where the storm made landfall on Saturday.

Nearly 2,000 homes had collapsed and more than 80,000 had been damaged, it said.

Roads that had been flooded or washed away caused traffic jams across several provinces.

In Da Nang, authorities called on soldiers and local people to clean up after the rains so the beach resort would be ready for delegates to the APEC meetings, which started on Monday.

Although the rain continued, organisers said the schedule had not been disrupted.

Da Nang will host US President Donald Trump from November 10, as well as China's President Xi Jinping, Russia's President Vladimir Putin and counterparts from other APEC members.

UNESCO heritage town flooded

The popular UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An, where more than 1 million tourists visit each year, was also flooded.

Many tourists in the town had to take boats from their hotels to reach places that were not entirely underwater.

Some residents and tourists took their chances wading through the floodwater, which continued to rise through the day.

"Before we came we knew it was going to be rainy season, but we didn't expect a typhoon. I'm a little bit different. I like this kind of situation because I've never experienced it before. It's fascinating," Fia-Fai, a Hong Kong tourist, said.

The main street of the UNESCO heritage zone was already submerged by water 1.5-metre deep, but the rain continued to fall and water kept rising.

On the streets that had so far stayed above the floodwater, merchants were preparing for the worst.

"I've tried to move goods to higher places as quickly as possible, but those I did not have the time to handle were soaked in water," merchant Yi Jianzhong said.

By afternoon, some hotel owners opted to evacuate, moving their guests to drier ground.

Floods killed more than 80 people in northern Vietnam last month, while a typhoon wreaked havoc in central provinces in September.

The country of more than 90 million people is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline.

Reuters