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Extreme weather

At least 43 dead, dozens missing after storm causes floods and landslides in Vietnam

The deaths occurred across six provinces as heavy rains lashed parts of the country this week

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 8:46pm

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 on 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 on 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 mobilised 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.

The tropical depression hit central Vietnam on Tuesday and brought heavy rains.

More rains were forecast for parts of the northern and central regions as a cold spell moved 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 that 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 on Wednesday that it was the first time in a decade that northern and central regions suffered as much rain in a short time.

Up to 50cm of rain was reported over a three-day period ending on Wednesday in some areas.

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