The death toll from a typhoon that has hit central and southern Vietnam has risen to 27, just days before the region is due to host the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm to hit Vietnam this year, made landfall yesterday with winds of up to 90km/h that damaged more than 40,000 homes, knocked down electricity poles and uprooted trees.
The state's Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said 27 people were now counted dead and 22 were missing.
It said 626 houses had collapsed entirely in a trail of destruction that has forced the evacuation of more than 30,000 people.
Heavy rain and high winds lashed the coastal strip this morning.
Flooding led to a 30km tailback on Vietnam's main north-south highway in Thua Thien Hue province.
The national disaster agency forecast that the rain would last until Tuesday and that flooding could worsen.
Tanks were mobilised to help with rescue efforts.
"The floodwaters are rising very fast," said Dinh Cong Hoa, deputy commander of the provincial military command in Nha Trang, which bore the brunt of the typhoon.
One middle-aged woman in Nha Trang, Vo Thi Tuyet Anh, told state television: "I’ve never seen such a strong storm since I was born."
Danang, where the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is taking place this week, is around 500km to the north of Nha Trang. It also suffered.
A gateway proclaiming "Welcome to Danang" collapsed in the storm, state media said.
Authorities in the area called on citizens to volunteer to help clean up.
Danang will host US President Donald Trump from 10 November,as well as China's Xi Jinping, Russia's Vladimir Putin and counterparts from other APEC members.
The storm moved from the coastal area into a key coffee-growing region of the world's biggest producer of robusta coffee beans.
Traders had expected the storm to delay harvesting, but were not sure whether it would damage the crop.
The government said yesterday more than 40,000 hectares of crops had been damaged, including sugar cane, rice fields and rubber plantations.
Floods killed more than 80 people in northern Vietnam last month, while a typhoon wreaked havoc in central provinces in September.
The country of more than 90 million people is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline.