Scores perish in Vietnam floods

At least 49 people have been killed and eight others are still missing after severe floods hit central Vietnam, cutting off several villages and burying sleeping people alive.

    Nine central provinces have been hit by torrential rains

    On Thursday night, 17 people died in Phuoc Thanh commune, Quang Nam province, including 15 gold miners killed when a landslide buried their makeshift huts.

    "The workers were swept away when they were sleeping in their makeshift camp. We have not been able to identify the deceased as most of them came from other provinces in the north," said an official from Quang Nam People's Committee on Saturday.

    A total of nine central provinces (Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Gia Lai, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong, Binh Thuan) have been hit by torrential rains and landslides since Tuesday.

    It is the second time within weeks the region has been hit by
    torrential floods. At least 44 people died in October in the same area.

    Rail link restored

    The state-controlled Vietnam News Agency said on Saturday the trans-Vietnam railway link could resume normal operations on Friday after being cut off. 

    Some villages have been cut off
    after roads became impassable

    Around 4000 passengers on board the north-south rail link had to interrupt their trips the way. Several hundred police and soldiers have been working with helicopters and boats to help local authorities reach villages which have been particularly badly hit.

    "So far, nine people were killed, including a 12-year-old girl, two others are still missing and 20 are injured," said an official from Ninh Thuan province.

    Troubles are yet not over, as tropical storm Nepartak, which
    pounded the central Philippines early on Friday, killing four people and leaving millions without electricity, is expected to hit Vietnam within days. 

    "We are all very tired now, but we are not allowed to relax
    because another storm is threatening to hit the area. We are getting ready for a new fight," the official added.

    SOURCE: AFP


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