Floods, landslides kill 37 in Vietnam

HANOI • At least 37 people have died and another 40 are missing as floods and landslides ravage north and central Vietnam, destroying homes and leaving rescuers scrambling to find survivors, disaster officials said yesterday.

Tens of thousands were evacuated after heavy rain lashed swathes of the country this week, and forecasters warned of more bad weather to come.

Northern Hoa Binh is the hardest-hit region, with 11 dead and 21 missing, prompting a state of emergency to be declared. “We are mobilising all forces to search for the missing,” a disaster official said.

Rescue efforts were hampered as water and mud submerged roads in several areas, including in Hoa Binh, where eight people died in an overnight landslide.

“People should be evacuated from dangerous areas, the safety of people and their belongings must be ensured,” Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said on state-run Vietnam television.

A terrified resident described severe flooding that happened in another part of the province.

Mr Phan Ba Dien told state-controlled VNExpress news site: “The flash flood was terrible. Water poured down from the hill, like a surge 3m high. Traffic has been blocked because of the floods.”

A journalist from Vietnam News Agency reporting on the storm was swept away with four other people as an overflowing river demolished a bridge in northern Yen Bai province on Wednesday.

SOURCE: STRAIGHTSTIME

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