Storm Son Tinh claimed three lives in central Quang Ngai province and injured two others in central Ha Tinh province and northern Hai Phong city after battering central and northern coastal districts with winds of up to 133km per hour (level 12).

Initial figures on casualties of the storm, the eighth to hit Vietnam this year, were provided by the Office of the National Search and Rescue Committee in the morning of October 29.

The storm blew up roofs of 323 houses in northern Thai Binh province and pulled down a television station located in northern Nam Dinh province, which is the tallest in the north, according to the Office.

Early on October 29, two helicopters were put on standby in Hai Phong for a search and rescue mission to oilrig GFS Key HAIWAI, about 14 nautical miles to the north of Bach Long Vi islands. The oilrig, with 35 workers, including 14 foreigners, on board, was disconnected with its towboats on October 28 due to strong waves sparked by the storm.

In Quang Binh, waves collapsed several parts of the dyke, causing up to 30 billion VND worth damage.

In Hai Phong, border police said they had managed to save 29 fishermen.
At least 260.000 people were evacuated on Oct. 28. Total damages are yet to be estimated.

According to the National Search and Rescue Committee Office, as many as 1,365 officers and soldiers together with 15 boats were deployed to coordinate with local authorities in search and rescue works.

As well as wreaking havoc at sea, storm Son Tinh has also hampered air travel with national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines being forced to cancel 62 flights over the weekend.-VNA