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Flash floods ravage northern provinces

Update: September, 05/2013 - 14:00

 

Road leads to flood-hit Ban Khoang Commune in northern Lao Cai Province's Sa Pa District. Torrential rains and floods hit northern provinces in the last few days, causing lots of damages. — VNA/VNS Photos Luc Van Toan
HA NOI (VNS)— Twenty five teachers asleep in their bungalows were swept away by raging flood waters in Sa Pa District in northern Lao Cai Province on Wednesday night.

Altogether, about 40 people are feared dead or missing in flash floods in northern provinces during the past three days. Damage to crops and roads has also been high.

Emergency teams have so far recovered nine of their bodies. They also rescued another 11 teachers, who were taken to hospital.

The headmaster of Ban Khoang Secondary School said the teachers were in several bungalows next to the school when the flood water hit. Reports say that all the bungalows were swept into mountain creeks.

Rescue teams and local people are still searching for the remaining victims.

Meanwhile, a landslide at an illegal gold mine in Lao Cai Province's Van Ban District yesterday noon was reported to have buried dozens of miners.

Road leads to flood-hit Ban Khoang Commune in northern Lao Cai Province's Sa Pa District. Torrential rains and floods hit northern provinces in the last few days, causing lots of damages. — VNA/VNS Photos Luc Van Toan

Hoang Minh Loan, director of the district's general hospital, said that seven of them had been taken to hospital for treatment. Five others were later rescued and treated at the local Minh Luong Medical Centre.

Local people said that at the time of landslide, there were many illegal miners at the mine.

Yesterday afternoon, the Van Ban District People's Committee had an urgent meeting to discuss measures to cope with the ongoing flood and rescuing the remaining miners.

Local authorities are now being pressured to disband all illegal gold mines in the district.

Earlier, flash-floods killed three people in the upland Phong Tho District of northern Lai Chau Province and two others in Lang Son's Van Lang District.

Local authorities in the two provinces said several houses had collapsed and dozens of others damaged.

About 20 hectares of aquaculture farms in Lai Chau Province were flooded, another seven hectares of rice were destroyed and hundreds of poultry swept away.

In Lang Son Province, 168 hectares of rice and 62 hectares of plantations were waterlogged. About 2,700 cubic metres of stones and earth also blocked highways. The province has estimated a loss of VND2.2 billion (US$104,000).

Landslides caused by heavy rains also killed three people in Thai Nguyen Province's Dai Tu and Phu Luong districts.

Dien Bien Province reported losses totalling nearly VND7 billion ($330,000) as heavy rains destroyed properties and crops.

Meanwhile, the water level in Phu Tho Province's Thao River is said to have reached an alarming rate - and is continuing to rise.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, heavy rains are forecast to continue in northern provinces for the next few days.Whirlwinds and flash-floods are also a possibility.

A low-pressure system is behind the heavy rains.

Also yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent an urgent message to ministries and local authorities, urging them to prepare for upcoming disasters. — VNS



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