Death toll in the storm-hit region of Vietnam reached 16 after five more bodies were recovered from the site of a landslide, local media reported on Thursday.

Dozens others are still missing after two separate landslides caused by Storm Molave hit a central province in Vietnam, local daily Viet Nam News reported.

Late Wednesday, 53 people were buried in two separate landslides in the central Quang Nam province.

So far, 16 bodies have been recovered while 37 people are still missing. Rescue teams faced difficulties in reaching the affected areas as small landslides had blocked roads, according to local media.

Thousands of people have been displaced by the storm while mobile phone coverage was also disrupted in the affected areas.

A day earlier, the government mobilized at least 250,000 troops and 2,300 vehicles to fight the “worst storm” facing the country in at least two decades.

More than 44,200 people were evacuated to safety in the Phu Yen province, which is witnessing strong gusts and heavy rainfall.

The Southeast Asian country is facing Storm Molave, the ninth in the East Sea this year and fourth in the current month.

The country’s National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting office said on Wednesday the storm is the strongest in 20 years and will move deeper inland during the day before weakening.

Vietnam’s central region has been reeling from historic flooding and back-to-back storms since early this month.

The rains, landslides, and floods have killed at least 130 people while 18 are still missing. The rains have affected 7 million people in the country.

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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