Wednesday, October 18 2017

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North told to brace for torrential rain

Update: August, 15/2017 - 09:00
Torrential rains destroyed a road in Ba Chẽ District of the north eastern province of Quảng Ninh.— VNA/VNS Photo Văn Đức
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Torrential rains flooded some northern cities and provinces yesterday, affecting people’s lives and causing traffic chaos.

In Quảng Ninh Province’s Hạ Long City, rains flooded main streets and caused the death of a 12-year-old school girl. The victim was among three school girls of Lý Tự Trọng Junior Highschool who were swept away by floods on their way home. Two others were rescued.

Rains also submerged hundreds of households in mountainous district of Ba Chẽ’s Lương Mông, Minh Cầm and Đạp Thanh communes.

Hundreds more households in Cẩm Phả City’s Mông Dương Ward were also flooded and covered with dirt and mud.

Rain also caused traffic chaos and congestion in Điện Biên Province’s Điện Biên Phủ City. Hundreds of motorbikes and electric bikes were damaged by the floods.

Heavy rains are forecast for northern Việt Nam in the next few days, and localities are being urged to prepare for possible floods and landslides.

In a notice sent to local authorities, ministries and relevant agencies, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said rainstorms are expected from August 13 to 16, especially in mountainous provinces. 

According to the Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre, rainfall is expected to range between 150-250mm in the region with some areas even experiencing rainfall of over 300mm.

The steering committee warned Lai Châu, Sơn La, Điện Biên, Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Hà Giang, Tuyên Quang, Cao Bằng and Bắc Kạn provinces of high risks of landslides and flash floods. 

To minimise human and property losses, the committee asked local natural disaster and search and rescue steering boards to assign teams to areas at risk of landslides and flash floods that could cut them off. 

Localities were asked to monitor rain and flood developments and spread information to residents. 

The Vietnam News Agency, Vietnam Television and the Voice of Vietnam, as well as local news and media agencies, have been asked to increase coverage of disaster-related events. 

Flash floods in Hoàng Liên National Park on Saturday swept away three people aged 18-36 in Sa Pa District of the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai, a local official said. 

Vũ Hùng Dũng, Chairman of the district’s People’s Committee, said two bodies were found on Sunday and one remains missing.

Swept away

 Also on Sunday, a five-year old girl was killed and her parents were slightly injured when their house was buried by a landslide in Nà Vài Village, Ngân Sơn District, in the northern province of Bắc Kạn. 

The family’s neighbours said that they heard a louse noise in the early morning hours while they were sleeping. The victims’ house was destroyed as stones buried it. Doanh Thiêm Phương and his wife Đỗ Thị Nga were saved but their daughter died. 

Chu Thị Huyền, chairwoman of the Ngân Sơn District People’s Committee, said the district had experienced heavy rains during the past two days, with rising streams and rivers causing floods and landslides. 

Flashfloods triggered by torrential rains have isolated many mountainous communes in Quảng Ninh Province, including Lương Mông, Minh Cầm and Đạp Thanh communes.

Heavy rains and flashfloods that started Saturday have submerged some areas, caused landslides at nearly 40 points on provincial highways and made some bridges in Lương Mông Commune collapse.

Bridge collapses

Local authorities have mobilised available forces to build makeshift bridges to help local people cross rivers. Meanwhile, water levels keep rising, hindering rescue tasks.

According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, since the beginning of August, heavy rains and flash floods have claimed at least 34 lives and left 11 others missing and more than 20 injured. 

About 230 houses had been swept away or collapsed, while 245 others had been damaged and 340 hectares of rice have been submerged by floodwater. Nearly 400 households had to leave their homes to safer places. — VNS

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