Villagers remove belongings through the roof of a flooded home in the central province of Phu Yen, Vietnam, on Monday.
updated 11/6/2007 8:41:38 AM ET 2007-11-06T13:41:38

The death toll from floods that have battered central Vietnam over the last week rose to 67 as the country braced for an approaching typhoon, disaster officials said Tuesday.

Seven more bodies were recovered Monday, said provincial disaster official Duong Van Huong. That brought the death toll from weekend flooding to 40.

Those floods were the second to hit the area in just one week. The first round of flooding killed 27 people.

Eight people were still missing and hundreds of thousands of people were still living in flooded neighborhoods.

Authorities distributed more than 1,000 tons of rice to flood victims, but local officials said they needed 5,500 tons more, the Flood and Storm Control Department said in a report Tuesday.

Meanwhile, approaching Tropical Storm Peipah gathered strength and was upgraded to a typhoon with sustained winds of 83 miles per hour, the national weather forecast center said.

The typhoon is expected to unleash heavy rains that will lash central Vietnam later this week.

"The last two floods already caused a lot of hardship," disaster official Vo Thanh Tien said. "Now another one is coming."

Hoi An Mayor Le Van Giang said about 300 houses in his city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were flooded in about three feet of water.

"We are seriously concerned, as these old houses are the soul of Hoi An," Giang said. "If they are ruined Hoi An will not be Hoi An anymore."

Vietnam is prone to floods and storms, which kill hundreds of people each year.

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