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Vietnam searches for survivors after typhoon triggers landslides

HANOI: Vietnamese soldiers hunted for survivors yesterday after landslides triggered by Typhoon Molave, one of the strongest storms to hit the country in decades, lashed a central region already reeling from weeks of heavy rains that have killed at least 160 people.

Hundreds of soldiers with heavy equipment were deployed to landslides in remote areas of Quang Nam province, where 19 people were killed and 12 were missing.

At the site of one landslide that buried a village of 53 people, rescue workers pulled 33 survivors from the mud, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

"The whole village was flattened," Ms Ho Thi Ha, who lost her father in the landslide, said. "There is nothing left."

STILL MISSING

Scores more people are still missing, mostly in landslides, as a result of a succession of storms that have hammered Vietnam since early this month.

The bodies of 12 fishermen were found at sea yesterday and the navy is searching for 14 others missing since their boats sank while trying to come ashore two days earlier, state broadcaster VTV reported.

"We can forecast the storm path or the amount of rain, but can't predict when landslides happen," Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said in a statement.

Complicating rescue efforts has been the emergence of un-exploded bombs, revealed by heavy rains.

At least seven American MK82 bombs from the US-Vietnam war were discovered in the central province of Quang Tri on Thursday, state media said. - REUTERS

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