The incident has been described as the biggest natural disaster to hit the country this year.

Vietnam's National Meteorology Centre has forecast more severe flash floods and landslides in several northern mountainous provinces including Lao Cai, Yen Bai
and Phu Tho.

Lao Cai, bordering China was the most seriously hit area with more than three dozen killed by landslides and flash floods, provincial officials said.

"This is the deadliest natural disaster to hit Lao Cai in 20 years," said Thao A Tua, a villager in that province.

Phao Duan Seo, a villager in Tung Chi, said the floods swept everything away houses, belongings "and most of my family members".

"My son and I survived, but I have nothing now."