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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Three die as typhoon hits Vietnam
Typhoon damage in Ky Anh district, central Vietnam
Thousands of homes were wrecked in the storm

At least three people have been killed and dozens more injured after Typhoon Lekima lashed central Vietnam, officials have said.

Tens of thousands of homes were wrecked in the storm, which made landfall in Quang Binh province on Wednesday, packing winds of up to 130km/h (80mph).

An operation to evacuate about 400,000 people from at-risk areas had helped to save lives, officials said.

Lekima was downgraded to a tropical storm after reaching neighbouring Laos.

'Extreme danger'

In central Vietnam, the winds ripped up trees and tore down power lines, according to the country's Department of Floods and Storms Control.

Among the dead was a 13-year-old boy, killed while attempting to anchor his family's boat during the storm, the Associated Press reported.

Lekima destroyed or damaged more than 29,000 homes in Quang Binh province, where 33 people were injured by fallen trees or flying debris, officials told AP.

map of central Vietnam

In neighbouring Ha Tinh province 25 people were injured and more than 42,000 homes destroyed or damaged.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai told Reuters: "Thanks to good preparatory work the damage from the storm is not large."

Before reaching Vietnam, the typhoon had lashed the Philippines, killing at least five people.

The storm had appeared to be heading towards China but changed its course, shaving the southern coastline of Hainan island before reaching Vietnam.

An area stretching more than 300km (190 miles) had been classified by the Vietnamese government as being in "extreme danger".

Officials said much of the area was evacuated.

Storm-hit Vietnam seeks missing
06 Dec 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Animated guide: Typhoon
25 Aug 05 |  Science/Nature
Country profile: Vietnam
11 Aug 07 |  Country profiles


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