November 7, 2017 2:19 pm
Updated: November 7, 2017 2:34 pm

Floods swamp Vietnam ahead of APEC summit

WATCH ABOVE: Residents and tourists in Hoi An are forced to make their way around the inundated streets on boats.

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A powerful typhoon that rocked Vietnam has killed at least 61 people, left more than two dozen missing and caused extensive damage to the country’s south-central region ahead of a summit that will draw leaders from around the world.

The Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a statement that widespread flooding was reported in the region and more than 116,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.

In addition to the dead, many are missing, including nine crew members of cargo ships that sank off the coast of Khanh Hoa province.

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Typhoon Damrey hit Saturday and had already dissipated, but the disaster agency said flooding may get worse as heavy rain was forecast for the region.

The area hit includes Danang, which is hosting an economic summit later this week that will be by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders.

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s first official visit to Asia to focus largely on security and trade

A half-hour drive away in the ancient town of Hoi An, where spouses of the APEC leaders were scheduled to visit, residents said they were suffering from the worst floods in decades.

Shops in Hoi An, a UNESCO world heritage site popular with tourists, were closed and boats were the only means of transportation in many flooded parts of the town.

Rains of up to 78 centimetres (30 inches) were reported in some parts of the central region over the 24 hours until Sunday evening.

Light rains were reported in the region Monday morning.

The typhoon was the second to hit Vietnam in a month.

 

 

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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