A strong tornado struck several villages in central Vietnam, killing two people and damaging hundreds of homes, an official said Friday.

The tornado hit Trieu Son district in Thanh Hoa province Wednesday, collapsing or stripping roofs from nearly 500 houses. It also knocked down electric poles and thousands of trees, district official Le Xuan Duong said.

A farmer couple, both 62, were killed by a falling tree, Duong said.

Authorities were helping people clear debris and rebuild damaged homes.

Last year, natural disasters in Vietnam killed at least 500 people, injured nearly 3,000, and caused nearly US$1.17 billion (euro860 million) in damage.