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Vietnam holds memorial ceremonies for victims of 'worst in century' storm Linda, 20 years on

Saturday, November 04, 2017, 11:36 GMT+7

Local authorities and people in various regions in the southernmost province of Ca Mau gathered and paid tribute to victims of tropical storm Linda, considered the worst storm in the past 100 in Vietnam, on Friday.

Memorial ceremonies, including the release of floating lanterns onto the sea, were held in such estuaries as Khanh Hoi in U Minh District, Song Doc in Tran Van Thoi District and Cai Doi Vam in Phu Tan District.

These are Ca Mau locations that were most hit by the catastrophic storm Linda in 1997, with more than 3,000 people dead and missing in southern Vietnam.

At the Khanh Hoi estuary, an elderly woman named Tran Thi Be spoke in tears when recalling about the loss of her loved ones.

“The bodies of my two sons have never been found and they were only 19 and 17 years of age at the time,” Be sadly said. “That was the last time I saw my sons.”

Tran Thi Nhi, another elderly woman in Tran Van Thoi District, also came out to Song Doc estuary to pay tribute to her two lost sons. One of them was killed by typhoon Linda, and the other died while working out in the sea two years later.

The 74-year-old woman still has to make her living by working as a boat attendant.

Young men in these coastal areas often choose to be fishermen, working out in the sea as there are not many other choices for them.

Huynh Thi Cho, a 77-year-old woman, also lost three out of her four sons due to storm Linda. Her only remaining son currently works as a fisherman despite the potential danger of his job.

Three out of the five sons of Huynh Thi Mau also died when storm Linda made landfall in Ca Mau 20 years ago. Even so, the two men who survived the disaster are still working as fishermen.

Fishing boats are seen at Song Doc Estuary these days.
Fishing boats are seen at Song Doc estuary these days.

Taking place in November 1997, tropical storm Linda now remains the worst typhoon to hit southern Vietnam within the past 100 years.

The natural catastrophe took away the lives of over 770 people, while over 2,000 other missing victims have never been found. The death toll in Ca Mau alone is 128.

Total damage caused by storm Linda was estimated at VND7,200 billion (US$317 million).

The memorial ceremonies for storm Linda victim were held at a time when Vietnam’s south-central coast is suffering from havocs caused by storm Damrey, the 12th to hit the country this year.

Local authorities are exerting efforts to deal with the storm so that tragedies like Linda would never happen again.

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