Viet­nam floods, land­slides kill dozens, thou­sands evac­u­ated

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

HANOI: Heavy rain in north­ern and cen­tral Viet­nam trig­gered floods and land­slides that killed 46 peo­ple and 33 peo­ple were miss­ing in the worst such disas­ter in years, the search and res­cue com­mit­tee said on Thurs­day.

Viet­nam of­ten suf­fers de­struc­tive storms and floods due to its long coast­line. More than 200 peo­ple were killed in storms last year.

“In the past 10 years, we haven’t suf­fered from such se­vere and in­tense floods,” state-run Viet­nam Tele­vi­sion quoted Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Cuong as say­ing.

A typhoon tore a de­struc­tive path across cen­tral Viet­nam just last month, flood­ing and dam­ag­ing homes and knock­ing out power lines. The lat­est floods hit Viet­nam on Mon­day.

“Our en­tire vil­lage has had sleep­less nights... it’s im­pos­si­ble to fight against this wa­ter, it’s the strong­est in years,” a res­i­dent in north­west­ern Hoa Binh prov­ince was quoted by VTV as say­ing.

Viet­nam’s Cen­tral Steer­ing Com­mit­tee for Nat­u­ral Disas­ter Preven­tion and Con­trol said au­thor­i­ties were dis­charg­ing wa­ter from dams to con­trol wa­ter lev­els.

Some 317 homes had col­lapsed, while more than 34,000 other houses were sub­merged or had been dam­aged.

Ear­lier re­ports said more than 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) of rice had been dam­aged and around 40,000 an­i­mals were killed or washed away.

Hoa Binh prov­ince in the north­west de­clared a state of emer­gency and opened eight gates to discharge wa­ter at Hoa Binh dam, Viet­nam’s largest hy­dro­elec­tric dam, the first time it has done so in years, VTV re­ported.

Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc vis­ited north­ern Ninh Binh prov­ince where wa­ter lev­els in the Hoang Long river are their high­est since 1985.

Ris­ing sea lev­els are also threat­en­ing Viet­nam’s more than 3,260 km coast­line, re­sult­ing in in­creased flood­ing of low ly­ing coastal re­gions, ero­sion and salt wa­ter in­tru­sion.

Floods have also af­fected seven of 77 prov­inces in Thai­land, Viet­nam’s neigh­bour to the west, the Depart­ment of Disas­ter Preven­tion and Mit­i­ga­tion said on Thurs­day. More than 480,000 hectares of agri­cul­tural land have been hit, the depart­ment said.

Thai­land is the world’s sec­ond­biggest ex­porter of rice. “It is still too soon to tell whether there will be dam­age to rice crops be­cause most of the rice has al­ready been har­vested,” Charoen Laothamatas, Pres­i­dent of the Thai Rice Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion, said.

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