Vietnam typhoon death toll rises to 27

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HUE, VIETNAM Floods inundated swathes of central and southern Vietnam yesterday in the wake of a typhoon that left at least 27 dead just days before the nation is due to host this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm to hit Vietnam this year, made landfall on Saturday with winds of up to 90kmh that damaged more than 40,000 homes, knocked down electricity poles and uprooted trees.

Heavy rain and high winds lashed the coastal strip yesterday. Some streets in the ancient capital of Hue were waist deep in water while in the old trading town of Hoi An, another popular tourist attraction, people boated in the streets.

"This is the worst it has been for many years," said Madam Nguyen Thi Thuan, 64, sitting on one chair and with her feet on another as waters lapped around and into her clothes shop.

The national disaster agency forecast that rain would last until tomorrow and that flooding could worsen.

Tanks were mobilised to help with rescue efforts in Nha Trang, which bore the brunt of the typhoon.

Danang, where the Apec summit is taking place this week, is around 500km north of Nha Trang. It was also hit by Typhoon Damrey. - REUTERS