HANOI, Vietnam – The typhoon that ravaged the Philippines with landslides and torrential rain slammed into Vietnam's southern coast Tuesday as a tropical storm, killing at least 47 people and destroying thousands of homes.
Tropical Storm Durian, believed to have claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in the Philippines, blew tin sheets off houses in Vietnam and caused the collapse of homes in Ba Ria Vung Tau province, some 78 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, that left 23 dead, said Pham Nhat Quang, an official from the provincial military command.
"The areas where the eye of the storm passed through looked like they were just bombarded," said Nguyen Van Tu, a local official in another province where more than 4,000 homes were destroyed.
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered stepped-up recovery efforts as she consoled the families of those killed in mudslides set loose by the powerful typhoon.
One woman hugged the president, telling her how she saw one of her children and her husband swept away after they fell from a roof.
Arroyo also visited Guinobatan, one of the worst-hit areas of Albay province, where entire villages disappeared under tons of mud and volcanic debris that cascaded down the slopes of the Mayon volcano last Thursday.
"The search for victims must continue as we tend to the sick and hungry in the evacuation centers, but we must now also push on the search for permanent solutions bearing upon the root cause of these grave calamities," Arroyo said.
At its height, with 165 mph winds and a five-hour deluge, the storm dislodged tons of debris from the slopes of the Mayon volcano. Walls of mud and boulders destroyed nearly every standing structure in their path.
Official figures showed 526 dead, 1,000 injured and 740 missing. Sen. Richard Gordon, head of the Philippines national Red Cross, said he believed more than 1,000 died in the thousands of homes buried under volcanic debris, mud and floodwaters.
In Vietnam, where the storm had winds of 73 mph on Tuesday, at least 50 people have died, including three fisherman who drowned Monday when their boat capsized as the storm approached.
Seventeen people were killed in Ben Tre province, where more than 4,000 houses were destroyed and 26,000 others damaged, provincial governor Cao Tan Khong said.
Weather forecasters said the storm was expected to continue weakening as it moved into the Gulf of Thailand on Wednesday morning.