Vietnam Endures Deadly Storm Days Before APEC Summit

Vietnam Endures Deadly Storm Days Before APEC Summit Promo Image

It is reported that 61 people have died and an additional 28 are missing after Typhoon Damrey slammed into the long coastline of Vietnam on Nov. 4. Many regions of the nation are flooded just days before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit is scheduled to take place.

Damrey hit land with 84 mph winds. According to Deutsche Welle, the typhoon is Vietnam's 12th this year and second within a month.

Vietnam's Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said that 2,000 homes had been destroyed and 80,000 are damaged, Reuters reports.

The nation's Search and Rescue Committee said that some of the 61 who had died were in boats capsized at sea, while others were killed in landslides resulting from the heavy rains.

Though Vietnam is no stranger to intense, life-threatening storms, the flooding caused by Damrey has been described as the worst in years. Deutsche Welle reports that flood levels have surpassed previous records set in 1997.

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"We’re pretty much all right in the city, but people in remote areas are devastated," said Hoang Tran Son, 37, to Reuters. Son left his home when the water reached chest-level.

The small trading town of Hoi An and the old imperial capital town of Hue are among the areas facing severe flooding, Deutsche Welle reports. According to Reuters, spouses of APEC leaders are scheduled to visit Hoi An on Nov. 11, but the area is currently head-deep in muddy water.

The brunt of the storm was felt by Nha Trang, 310 miles from Danang, where the APEC Summit is set to begin on Nov. 10.

The summit, which brings together leaders from 21 Pacific Rim countries, will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and President Donald Trump.

Danang has suffered damage from the storm, but the city is determined to not let it interfere with the upcoming world meeting.

"I call all officials, soldiers and citizens of Danang city to come together and try their best to clean up after the rains and welcome delegates to APEC," said Huynh Duc Tho, chairman of Danang's people's committee, according to Deutsche Welle.

The rains are expected to continue until at least Nov. 7.

Vietnam's total death toll from storm floods stands at 240 people, 80 of whom died in the last month.

The World Bank reports that natural disasters in Vietnam have cost $6.4 billion in property damage in the past two decades, according to Deutsche Welle. Those disasters also killed 13,000 individuals.

Sources: Reuters, Deutsche Welle / Featured Image: NASA Earth Observatory via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Bdelisle/Wikimedia Commons, MARIAJONER/Wikimedia Commons

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