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Vietnam tackles typhoon’s deadly aftermath as new storm threatens region

HANOI — Rescue teams searched for more signs of life on Friday after a series of deadly landslides in central Vietnam unleashed by heavy rains from Typhoon Molave, as yet another powerful storm barrelled towards the Southeast Asia region.

Helicopters, soldiers and search dogs have been deployed to look for dozens of people feared dead in Vietnam in at least five mudslides in a central region battered by weeks of intense weather and the worst floods in years.

Molave has killed close to 40 people since it arrived in Vietnam two days ago, although many people were rescued on Thursday, including three fishermen found in the sea by a cargo vessel and 33 people pulled from a tiny village buried by earth.

“The typhoon has left extremely huge damage,” Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung told a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Central Vietnam has had a tough year, grappling with typhoons that killed at least 160 people, left dozens missing, devastated towns, wiped out crops and forced hundreds of thousands into shelters.

Meanwhile, a another storm named Goni gathered strength as it edged slowly towards the Philippines, packing winds of up to 165 kilometers (103 miles) per hour.

It could make landfall in the Philippines early Sunday, with winds of up to 185 kph, its weather agency said. Molave killed 22 people in the Philippines.

Goni is on course to reach central Vietnam later next week and would be the country’s ninth typhoon this year.

“My house is covered in deep mud and debris but I have no plan to clean it up as I heard more storms are coming,” Nguyen Thi Sinh, a resident of Quang Tri province, said by phone.

“No one had foreseen such severe flooding. Crops and livestock are all gone with the flood water. We have to encourage ourselves at least we are still alive,” Sinh added. (Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Additional reporting by Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Karen Lema in Manila; Editing by Martin Petty)

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