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China hunts for 58 missing fishermen in storm

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HANOI, Vietnam » Chinese airplanes and boats scoured parts of the South China Sea on Tuesday (Monday in Hawaii) looking for nearly 60 people missing after a tropical storm sunk three fishing boats.

In central Vietnam, people repaired homes and dragged trees from streets that were uprooted when Wutip slammed into the coastline late Monday. Two men were killed in when a radio station antenna tower fell on them, Vietnam’s disaster agency said. Another man was killed when a wall collapsed. Close to 100,000 homes were damaged.

Chinese authorities say Wutip, which means butterfly in Cantonese, sank at three Chinese fishing vessels Sunday in the South China Sea.

On Monday, 14 people were rescued, leaving 58 still believed to be missing, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. It said 22 boats and four airplanes were combing the area for survivors.

Wutip was the strongest storm to hit Vietnam this year. It had weakened from typhoon strength by the time it hit land, with sustained winds of 73 miles per hour, Vietnam’s weather center said.

The most powerful Asian storm this year was Typhoon Usagi, which caused at least 33 deaths in the Philippines and China in September.

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