Image: Man huddles on ledge with cattle beside him
AFP-Getty Images
A farmer protects himself and his cattle on Tuesday by sitting on a ledge of his flooded home in Vietnam's Phu Yen province.
updated 11/5/2009 1:09:52 PM ET 2009-11-05T18:09:52

The death toll from Tropical Storm Mirinae rose to 99 in central Vietnam on Thursday and authorities estimated damage from the storm at $55 million.

In the hardest-hit province Phu Yen, three districts that are home to 300,000 people remained inundated, said Nguyen Ba Loc, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee.

Some areas of the province suffered their most severe flooding ever and many families lost their homes, he said. Some 24,000 people continued to take shelter at government buildings.

Military helicopters continued to drop instant noodles and water to victims in the isolated areas, he said, and soldiers in speed boats also contributed to the relief efforts.

The death toll in Phu Yen reached 69 on Thursday, and 16 residents were still missing, he said.

Fourteen people died in the neighboring province of Binh Dinh and two were missing, said disaster official Phan Ke Hung.

Binh Dinh residents began returning to their homes Thursday as flood waters continued receding.

Elsewhere in the region, Mirinae left 16 people dead and one missing, according to the government's Web site.

The storm also injured 66 people, destroyed or damaged more than 16,000 homes and damaged about 74,000 acres of rice and other crops, according the national committee for flood and storm control.

The committee made an initial damage estimate of $55 million, but the number is likely to rise after a more complete assessment of losses is made.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered authorities to send 10,000 tons of rice and $12 million to help the victims, the government said.

Central Vietnam, one of the communist country's poorest regions, has been battered by two rounds of storms and flooding in just over a month.

Vietnam's western neighbor, Cambodia, reported a woman and her daughter died Monday night when the storm toppled trees onto their house in Mondulkiri province, about 325 miles east of the capital, Phnom Penh.

Mirinae hit the Philippines with typhoon strength over the weekend, killing 27 people before losing strength as it moved across the South China Sea toward Vietnam.

Both Vietnam and the Philippines were still recovering from Typhoon Ketsana, which brought the Philippine capital of Manila its worst flooding in 40 years when it struck in September. Ketsana killed 160 people in Vietnam.

In the Philippines, Ketsana and two later storms killed more than 900. Some 87,000 people who fled the storms were still living in temporary shelters when Mirinae struck.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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