Twenty-one people have been killed and dozens more were feared dead on Thursday after a typhoon tore through central Vietnam, triggering landslides and causing some of the worst destruction seen in years.
Typhoon Molave hit villages as it made landfall a day earlier, tearing roofs from homes and bringing heavy rain to an area already badly affected by weeks of flooding.
Hundreds of rescuers were desperately trying to reach survivors after several landslides, but many were hampered by thick mud and fallen trees.
“My two daughters were pulled out from the mud by neighbours,” Ho Thi Ha told AFP as one of her girls, four-year-old My, screamed in pain from an injured leg.
“But my father is dead and now I have nothing. Everything is buried in the mud,” the 28-year-old said.
Nineteen bodies had so far been pulled from the mud across three hard-hit villages in Quang Nam province, state media reported. Authorities said another 45 people were believed to be buried in the area.
Soldiers were among a search team using heavy bulldozers and excavators to better access two of the villages.
Two people were killed earlier as they tried to protect their homes from the typhoon, Vietnam’s fourth storm this month.
Authorities relocated around 375,000 people to safety, cancelled hundreds of flights and closed schools and beaches.