Landslides set off by Typhoon Molave killed at least eight people with 42 others missing in central Vietnam, state media said Thursday.

Rescuers dug up eight bodies in Tra Van village in south central Tra Van in Quang Nam province where a hillside collapsed on houses, the official Vietnam News Agency reported.

In Tra Leng village, several kilometres from Tra Van, another landslide buried several houses occupied by about 45 people, including four who managed to survive. Rescuers have recovered three bodies and were scrambling to save others.

The initial death toll reflects the ferocity of the typhoon, which Vietnamese officials feared may be the worst to hit the country in 20 years. The typhoon slammed central Vietnam on Wednesday with destructive force while at least three provinces were still recovering from recent deadly flooding that killed more than 100 people and destroyed hundreds of houses early this month.

Authorities earlier said Molave sank two fishing boats with 26 crew members off Binh Dinh province. The navy deployed two rescue boats to search for them, according to state-run VTV network.

State media had also reported two deaths on Wednesday, a man knocked off his roof by strong winds and another pinned by a fallen tree in coastal Quang Ngai province.

At least 40,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters and authorities shut down offices, factories and schools to prevent casualties.

The typhoon left at least nine people dead in the Philippines before blowing toward Vietnam.

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