Death toll rises in northern Vietnam flash floods

Heavy rains and flash floods result in nine deaths while another 24 people missing in one of country’s poorest regions.

Vietnam Floods
Floods destroyed houses and crippled transport infrastructure [Quoc Viet/AP Photo]

At least nine people have been killed and 24 are missing after flash floods hit northern Vietnam, officials said.

The floods, which arrived early on Thursday following heavy rains, resulted in the death of six people in Son La province, two in Yen Bai province, and one in Lai Chau province, the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said on Friday.

The three provinces reported 24 people missing in total, according to DPA news agency.

The region, among Vietnam’s poorest, continued to receive heavy rainfall on Friday morning with as much as 81mm in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total rainfall for the past four days to 321mm, the committee said.

The heavy rainfall has damaged more than 130 hectares of rice paddies while floods and landslides have crippled much of the area’s transportation infrastructure, with bridges and roads washed away.

Heavy rains are threatening agricultural land and private property [AP Photo]
Heavy rains are threatening agricultural land and private property [AP Photo]

Nearly 200 houses have been destroyed and 50 damaged by flash floods and landslides across the region.

The initially estimated damage is around $23m, the committee added.

Flooding risk

Floods in Vietnam’s central provinces killed at least 15 people in October last year and two more in separate flooding incidents in November.

Rising sea levels are also threatening the country’s coastline and intruding salt water threatens its ability to grow and harvest crops.

The Vietnamese government has stated that 40 percent of the Mekong River Delta could be submerged if sea levels rise by one meter in decades to come.

Source: Al Jazeera, DPA