Laos is new Typhoon Damrey's victim

Typhoon Damrey's destructive rampage through Vietnam left 33 people dead as heavy rains triggered flash flooding and landslides in its wake, officials said Wednesday.

The raging typhoon, which slammed ashore Tuesday morning, also injured more than 100 others after it breached sea dikes, inundating villages along the coastline. The storm, the worst to hit Vietnam in a decade, weakened as it pushed further into Laos on Wednesday.

Newly recovered bodies pushed the death toll in Asia to 67 from Damrey, which spawned destruction as it swept from the Philippines into China, Vietnam and now Laos. Some 300,000 people along Vietnam's northern and central coast were evacuated to higher ground before the typhoon hit.

The sea water had receded allowing people to return to their homes in villages that had been inundated when high waves breached sea dikes.

Damage from the typhoon was estimated at 83 billion dong (US$5.2 million; Ђ4.3 million) in Thanh Hoa province alone. After killing at least 34 people in China and the Philippines, the typhoon slammed ashore in Vietnam early Tuesday with winds of up to 102 kilometers (63 miles) per hour.

It was the most destructive typhoon to hit southern China in more than three decades. While still a tropical storm in the Philippines last week, Damrey triggered rain and winds that killed at least 18 people there. AM

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