At least 46 dead as Vietnam suffers worst floods in years

People watch as Hoa Binh hydroelectric power plant opens the floodgates after heavy rainfall
Picture: Reuters/Kham

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

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