|Deadly Typhoon Conson kills at least 70 before being downgraded|
|Sunday, 18 July 2010 07:18|
MSNBC - Vietnamese troops evacuated thousands of people from their homes in the north of the country Sunday due to threats of flash flooding and landslides, as the death toll from Typhoon Conson rose to more than 70.
Typhoon Conson was downgraded to a tropical storm as it hit northern Vietnam late Saturday after battering the Philippines and the southern Chinese island of Hainan over the past week.
State-run Voice of Vietnam radio said the army had sent 3,500 soldiers to help evacuate people in coastal provinces, and others were being moved from dangerous areas in four mountainous provinces due to the threat of flooding.
The region lies far from Vietnam's Mekong Delta food basket in the south, which supplies 90 percent of rice for exports.
Typhoons and tropical storms regularly hit the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea before normally weakening over land.
Voice of Vietnam said three naval ships had also arrived in an area near the Paracels archipelago in the South China Sea to search for six missing fishermen.
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