ASEAN pledges support for disaster hit brethren

ASEAN stands ready to support members suffering from floods and landslides, the regional bloc’s foreign ministers said in a statement Tuesday.

Vietnam, floods, ASEAN, ASEAN member states, Southeast Asia, natural disasters, storms, landslides, Storm Molave, Philippines

Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are "deeply saddened" by the loss of lives, injuries, impact on livelihoods and extensive damage to properties in Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam caused by heavy floods and landslides from the storms that hit the Southeast Asian region, the statement said..

"ASEAN reaffirms its solidarity with the governments and people of the affected member states and stands ready to extend its cooperation and support in this difficult time," it added.

On Sunday and Monday, Storm Molave lashed through the Philippines with maximum wind speeds of 125 kph, leaving at least three dead and 12 missing, flooding villages and forcing around 120,000 to be evacuated.

The storm is expected to make landfall in central Vietnam early Wednesday, potentially becoming the most powerful storm to impact the nation this year.

It is forecast to affect Da Nang and six neighbor provinces along the central region, prompting plans to evacuate 1.2 million people. The wind speed near the eye of the storm when it lands is predicted to be around 130-165 kph.

Between October 6 and 25, central Vietnam had already suffered extensive flooding and landslides triggered by torrential downpours, tropical storms and depressions.

At least 130 people have died. The dead include 35 members of two different military teams who had come to find and rescue landslide victims in Thua Thien-Hue Province and assist neighborhoods hit by landslides in Quang Tri Province.

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