Vietnam’s death toll from Tropical Storm Durian rose to 59 on Wednesday as authorities began cleaning up the country’s south coast where more than 120,000 houses were destroyed, officials said.
The worst damage was in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, where at least 34 people were killed and more than 450 others injured, most of them in collapsed homes.
“The death toll could rise,” said Pham Nhat Quang, a spokesman for the provincial military command. “Many of the victims are in very bad condition.”
The government sent air force planes Wednesday to search for 29 people still missing.
Thousands were evacuated before the storm hit early Tuesday, but some of those killed had refused to leave their homes.
Before weakening to a tropical storm and hitting Vietnam, Typhoon Durian ravaged the eastern Philippines with a five-hour deluge and 165 mph winds Nov. 30. In Albay province, entire villages disappeared under tons of mud and volcanic debris that cascaded down the slopes of the Mayon volcano.
Official figures showed 526 dead, 1,000 injured and 740 missing. Sen. Richard Gordon, head of the Philippines national Red Cross, said he believed more than 1,000 died in the thousands of homes buried under volcanic debris, mud and floodwaters.
More than 1 million people in 13 provinces were affected, and about 20,000 have gone to evacuation centers.