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Storm Son-Tinh batters Asia; more than 30 reported dead

October 30, 2012 |  7:40 am

Vietnam-storm
While Americans on the East Coast struggle to recover from onetime Hurricane Sandy, stretches of Asia have been battered by a typhoon that has cost more than 30 lives since it first struck last week.

In China, one person was reported dead, five were still missing and roughly 126,000 had been relocated in Hainan province due to Typhoon Son-Tinh, state media reported Monday. Powerful floods have reportedly destroyed hundreds of homes across the area. In the southern region of Guangxi Zhuang, scores of boats on a river bordering China and Vietnam went missing during the downpour.

In Vietnam, the storm had already claimed at least three lives and injured 29 people before moving on to China, the Vietnamese national news agency reported. Homes and bridges were destroyed, fields of crops ruined and electrical and telephone lines downed, the agency said. More than 86,000 people were evacuated to avoid the storm, while national authorities distributed hundreds of life vests and thousands of water purification tablets, a United Nations coordinator in Vietnam reported.

Before wreaking havoc in Vietnam and China, the typhoon had lashed the Philippines, killing at least 27 people, injuring 19 and leaving nine missing, its national disaster agency reportedTuesday, updating its earlier, lower death tolls. More than 109,000 Filipinos were affected by the storm as it hit the Philippines last week, where it was known as Ofel.

The tempest has weakened, but its damages in the three countries have been estimated in the tens of millions of dollars. In the Vietnamese province of Nam Dinh alone, local media estimated the damages ran as high as $45 million, with farms swamped and electricity damaged, the U.N. reported.

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-- Emily Alpert in Tadanoumi, Japan

Photo: A resident walks past fallen trees after the passage of Typhoon Son-Tinh in the northern city of Nam Dinh, Vietnam, on Monday. Credit: Agence France-Presse / Getty Images.

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