Typhoon Molave triggers landslides; dozens buried, missing, dead in Vietnam

Typhoon Molave triggered landslides that killed at least 18 people and left 38 missing in central Vietnam.

Vietnam deployed hundreds of soldiers and heavy machinery on Thursday to search for survivors after landslides.

Ferocious wind and rain blew away roofs and knocked out power in a region of 1.7 million residents, state media said Thursday.

Vietnamese officials say it’s the worst typhoon to hit the country in 20 years.

“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.

“The road is covered under deep mud and heavy rains are still lashing the area, but rescue work has to be carried out quickly.”

State television said the bodies of 12 fishermen were found Thursday after their boats sank while trying to return to shore two days earlier. Two navy vessels had been mobilized to find them and 14 were still missing.

Since early October, Vietnam has been battered by storms, heavy rains and floods which have affected more than a million people.

Heavy rain of up to 700 millimeters will continue in parts of central Vietnam until Saturday, the weather agency said.

Before it hit Vietnam, Typhoon Molave passed through the Philippines, where it caused flooding and landslides that disaster authorities on Thursday said had killed at least 16 people.