2nd typhoon gathers strength in Southeast Asia

A new typhoon was gathering strength as Typhoon Ketsana left a destructive path across Southeast Asia, killing at least 362 people and injuring hundreds.
People walk through a flooded street in Hue, Vietnam, on Tuesday as Typhoon Ketsana lashed the region. ((Vietnam News Agency/Associated Press))

A new typhoon was gathering strength as Typhoon Ketsana left a destructive path across Southeast Asia, killing at least 362 people and injuring hundreds.

Packing winds of 150 km/h, Typhoon Parma was 650 kilometers off the hard-hit northern Philippines eastern coast on Thursday, but was already bringing rain to eastern provinces. It was expected to hit land Saturday

Meanwhile, Ketsana, which first struck the Philippines on the weekend, killing 277 people and leaving 42 missing, cut through Vietnam and Cambodia as it made its way Wednesday into Laos and Thailand.

Vietnamese government officials said it could confirm that 74 people were killed during the storm, some by landslides and some by falling trees. Cambodian authorities put the death toll there at 11.

Philippines calls for international aid

The threat of the storm is lessening as Ketsana was downgraded to a tropical depression as it crossed into Laos. But it has devastated the regions it has passed through.

The storm destroyed or damaged nearly 180,000 homes and flattened crops in six Vietnamese provinces, officials said, while more than 350,000 people were evacuated from the typhoon's path.

A father carrying his son wades through mud caused by Typhoon Ketsana west of Manila on Tuesday. ((Romeo Ranoco/Reuters))

In Cambodia, at least 11 people were killed and 29 injured as the storm toppled houses in Kampong Thom province, about 130 kilometres north of the capital Phnom Penh. Neth Sophana of the Red Cross said about 90 homes were destroyed.

"We're used to storms that sweep away one or two houses. But I've never seen a storm this strong," said Nam Tum, governor of Cambodia's Kampong Thom province.

The Philippines is calling for increased international aid as flood waters subsided and victims began to queue in search of relief. Ketsana triggered the worst flooding in 40 years across the island country's north and submerged riverside districts in the capital of Manila.

The United States has donated $100,000 US and deployed a military helicopter, boats and 20 soldiers to help with the relief efforts.

The United Nations Children's Fund and the World Food Program have also provided food and other aid, while the European Union, Japan, Australia and other countries have pledged assistance.

With files from The Associated Press