At least 46 dead as Viet­nam suf­fers worst floods in years

The Herald (South Africa) - - WORLD - Mai Nguyen

HEAVY rain in north­ern and cen­tral Viet­nam trig­gered floods and land­slides that killed 46 peo­ple, while 33 were miss­ing in the worst such dis­as­ter in years, the search and res­cue com­mit­tee said yes­ter­day.

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.

About 317 homes had col­lapsed, while more than 34 000 oth­ers were sub­merged or had been dam­aged.

Ear­lier re­ports said more than 8 000 hectares of rice had been dam­aged and about 40 000 an­i­mals had been killed or washed away.

Hoa Binh prov­ince had de­clared a state of emer­gency and opened eight gates to dis­charge water at Hoa Binh dam, Viet­nam’s largest hy­dro­elec­tric dam, 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.

Floods had also af­fected seven of 77 prov­inces in neighbouring Thai­land, the Depart­ment of Dis­as­ter Preven­tion and Mit­i­ga­tion said. – Reuters

Pic­ture: REUTERS/KHAM

HEAVY RAIN­FALL: Peo­ple watch as Hoa Binh hy­dro­elec­tric power plant opens the flood­gates af­ter heavy rain­fall

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