Floods, land­slides kill at least 43

San Francisco Chronicle - - WORLD -

HANOI — Floods and land­slides caused by a trop­i­cal de­pres­sion have killed at least 43 peo­ple, left 34 oth­ers miss­ing and dam­aged homes and crops in north­ern and cen­tral Viet­nam, of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

The storm in­jured 21 peo­ple and de­stroyed or dam­aged more than 1,000 houses, sub­merged 16,740 other homes and dam­aged in­fra­struc­ture and crops in six cen­tral and north­ern prov­inces, the Viet­nam Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Author­ity said.

In the hard­est-hit north­ern prov­ince of Hoa Binh, 17 peo­ple died and 15 oth­ers were miss­ing. The deaths in­cluded four fam­i­lies whose houses were buried in a land­slide early Thurs­day while they were sleep­ing, killing nine and leav­ing nine oth­ers miss­ing, dis­as­ter of­fi­cial Tran Anh Tuan said.

“More than 250 sol­diers, po­lice, mili­ti­a­men and vil­lagers have been mo­bi­lized for the search,” Tuan said. “But they are fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties be­cause of the huge vol­ume of soil, mud and rocks that buried the houses.”

Evac­u­a­tions were or­dered for 200,000 peo­ple in Ninh Binh prov­ince in the north.

More rains were fore­cast for parts of the north­ern and cen­tral re­gions Thurs­day as a cold spell moves from south­ern China to Viet­nam, the dis­as­ter agency said in a state­ment. Also, an­other trop­i­cal de­pres­sion was ex­pected to hit the Philip­pines on Thurs­day evening and could strengthen into a trop­i­cal storm as it moves across the South China Sea.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Cuong was quoted as telling a govern­ment emer­gency meet­ing Wed­nes­day that it was the first time in a decade that north­ern and cen­tral re­gions suf­fered as much rain in a short pe­riod of time.

Viet­nam is prone to floods and storms which kill hun­dreds of peo­ple each year.

Huu Quyet / As­so­ci­ated Press

Res­i­dents wade through flood wa­ter in north­ern province of Son La, af­ter a trop­i­cal de­pres­sion.

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