17:04Asia typhoon toll 350, floods in Vietnam, Cambodia
Floods and landslides were expected to hit Vietnam and nearby nations on Thursday after a typhoon cut a destructive path through South East Asia, killing nearly 350 people, according to Reuters.
State media in Vietnam said 85 people had died and 12 were missing after typhoon Ketsana swept through the country late on Tuesday. The government initially estimated damages in five of 12 affected provinces at more than $120 million.
Eleven people died in Cambodia and the Philippines where the typhoon first struck last weekend, with 246 reported deaths. Thailand was sending troops to provide humanitarian assistance in anticipation of floods.
River waters in Vietnam`s eight coastal and central highland provinces were receding on Thursday, but the national weather bureau warned of more flash floods and landslides in mountainous areas and high waters in low-lying areas.
Military rescue teams rushed medicine, food and blankets to flood victims and in several areas people were airlifted from marooned houses, a Reuters witness said.
Floodwaters submerged many old houses in Hoi An city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Transport was restricted to boats.
The region hit by Ketsana lies far north of Vietnam`s Mekong Delta rice basket. Farmers in Vietnam, the world`s largest robusta coffee producer, struggled to dry beans after heavy rains battered the country`s growing area, raising quality concern.
Ketsana damaged 740 hectares of rubber and coffee in Daklak, Vietnam`s top coffee-growing province where 180,000 hectares of coffee has been planted, a government report said.
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