7 dead in landslides as Typhoon Kalmaegi weakens to depression

By Staff writers, Thanh Nien News

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Landslides triggered by Typhoon Kalmaegi killed at least seven people in the northern province of Lang Son early Wednesday morning as the storm dwindled to a tropical depression.
Two landslides occurred in Lang Son’s Dong Dang Town between 2-3 am, killing at least seven and injuring six others, a Thanh Nien source said.
Provincial military authorities dispatched rescuers to the site.
Typhoon Kalmaegi, the third tropical storm to hit Vietnam this year, weakened to a depression after triggering torrential rains on Tuesday evening.
According to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the depression had reached the northwestern mountainous provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Ha Giang at 7am on Wednesday, spitting winds that topped out at 39 kph.
Strong winds and rough seas will continue in the Tonkin Gulf and torrential rains will fall in northern provinces, the center said.
The center also warned of flooding in urban areas in the north and landslides and flash floods in mountainous provinces due to torrential rains which may last until Wednesday evening.
At 10pm Tuesday, Typhoon Kalmaegi made landfall in Quang Ninh Province, bringing 133 kph winds and heavy rains to Mong Cai Town.
The storm blew off some houses’ roofs and knocked down trees and billboards on the street.
Winds and rains grew stronger and harder as it got darker.
By 7am on Wednesday, power outage had afflicted every part of the town. The streets were full of uprooted and fallen trees. Many roads in the town’s center were deeply flooded, disrupting traffic.
According to statistics released by the Quang Ninh Steering Committee for Natural Disasters Prenvetion and Control, the storm collapsed seven houses and 20 electricity poles, blew off 147 roofs and destroyed more than 5,000 hectares of paddy and other crops in the province.
Damage estimates rose as high as VND20 billion (nearly US$1 million).
The storm also affected some central and highland provinces. On Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, heavy rains fell in Quang Binh , Gia Lai and Kon Tum, raising water levels in a number of rivers.

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