Two dead, 26 missing as Typhoon Molave slams into Vietnam

A man looks out a window as strong winds batter central Vietnam's Quang Ngai province on October 28, 2020, as Typhoon Molave makes landfall. (AFP)
Updated 28 October 2020

Two dead, 26 missing as Typhoon Molave slams into Vietnam

  • The typhoon comes on the back of weeks of severe flooding and landslides that have claimed 130 lives
  • Vietnam is prone to natural disasters in the rainy season between June and November

QUANG NGAI: Two people were reported killed and 26 others missing as Typhoon Molave hit central Vietnam Wednesday, knocking down trees and tearing roofs off homes in some of the worst destruction seen in years.
Authorities relocated around 375,000 people to safety, canceled hundreds of flights and closed schools and beaches ahead of the typhoon, which made landfall south of Danang packing winds of up to 145 kilometers per hour (85 miles per hour).
State media said at least two people were killed in Quang Ngai province while trying to protect their homes from the storm.
“The people of Vietnam are tough, yet this is among the worst destruction ever seen in many areas,” said Vietnam Red Cross Society president Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu.
“The relentless storms and flooding are taking a devastating human toll, further destroying livelihoods and isolating millions of people.”
Officials were also searching for 26 missing fishermen, with the storm — Vietnam’s fourth this month — bringing waves up to six meters high as power was cut off across the region.
Navy and surveillance vessels were deployed to look for the crew members after their two boats disappeared after they attempted to dock, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said.
A fishing ban has been in place since Tuesday, while all airports in the area were closed until further notice.
The typhoon comes on the back of weeks of severe flooding and landslides that have claimed 130 lives and damaged or destroyed more than 310,000 homes, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Close to 1.2 million people were in “severe danger” and in need of relief, the IFRC warned.
“These relentless storms are yet another example of the devastating impact of climate change,” Red Cross spokesman Christopher Rassi said.
Vietnam is prone to natural disasters in the rainy season between June and November, with central coastal provinces commonly impacted, but the storms have notably worsened in recent years.


Malaysia to hold election after ‘coronavirus is over’

Updated 8 min 48 sec ago

Malaysia to hold election after ‘coronavirus is over’

  • Muhyiddin’s eight-month-old administration has clung on with a two-seat majority in parliament
  • Malaysia is facing a new wave of coronavirus infections

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will hold a general election when the novel coronavirus pandemic is over, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Saturday, shortly after he averted a showdown by winning parliamentary support for his administration’s budget.
Parliament passed the largest-ever budget by a voice vote on Thursday despite weeks of threats by the opposition and some of Muhyiddin’s allies to derail the government’s 2021 spending plan, which could have triggered a crisis.
“God willing, when COVID-19 is over, we will hold a general election,” Muhyiddin said in a speech at a virtual annual general meeting of his Bersatu party.
“We will return the mandate to the people and leave it to them to choose which government they want.”
Muhyiddin’s eight-month-old administration has clung on with a two-seat majority in parliament, managing to fend off a leadership challenge from opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and contain growing dissent in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the largest bloc in his coalition.
Muhyiddin said he met UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi this week and they agreed to mend ties between their parties and avoid competing against each other when an election is called.
“I know the people are fed up with the unending politicking. The people want political leaders to help them, not constantly fight for power,” Muhyiddin said.
Malaysia is facing a new wave of coronavirus infections, with cumulative cases rising more than four-fold since September to more than 60,000 as of Friday.