|Soldiers in Kỳ Sơn District help residents clean up after flash floods. —VNA/VNS Photo Văn Tý|
NGHỆ AN — A flash flood at 2 am on October 2 swept away Lô Văn Bảy’s house in Tà Cạ Commune, Kỳ Sơn District, central Nghệ An Province.
In one night, he lost everything but his life.
He said he and his wife were awakened by the sound of rocks and soil being swept away by flash floods. They managed to escape but lost their house and all their property.
“Only four pillars were left from my house,” Bảy said.
In less than two months, Kỳ Sơn District has suffered from two floods. The severe one in the early morning of October 2 killed one person and damaged 232 houses, including 55 which were swept away. In addition, hundreds of families lost property, estimated at more than VNĐ100 billion.
Hundreds of soldiers and police officers have visited the villages to help residents repair and rebuild houses.
On the way to Hòa Sơn Village, rocks and soils still block the road.
Hundreds of people are working day and night to clean up. Excavators and dump trucks are operating at full capacity.
On October 2 alone, as many as 700 people were mobilised to villages in the district to help.
The soldiers and police officers built temporary bridges from bamboo to send food and essential items to isolated residents.
The Border Guard of Nghệ An Province donated 2.5 tonnes of food and drinks to those affected by floods. In addition, up to 500 youths volunteered to help clean up houses and deliver food to residents.
La Ngọc Lâm, 73 and living in Mường Xén Town, said this was the first time in his life he has seen flooding this bad.
His one-floor house was covered in rocks and soil. He feels lucky to be alive.
“Without the help of soldiers and police, my family would not know how to reorganise everything,” he told Vietnam News Agency.
La Khăm Ỏn from Mường Xén Town said he and his wife tried to dig out properties that are under two metres of soil.
Dozens of people have come to help the family reach their possessions. Ỏn hopes that some of them can be saved.
Colonel Dương Minh Hiền, Deputy Military Commander of Nghệ An Province, said the greatest difficulty is removing the massive amount of soil and rocks.
“Machines cannot enter deep into remote areas, so we utilise human power, which will take many days to complete the cleaning task.
“The water has receded, and we are making use of this to speed up the work,” he said.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trần Ngọc Tuấn, deputy director of the provincial Public Security, said besides on-site forces, including the district and commune’s police, nearly 200 officers and soldiers of the provincial public security forces have been mobilised. The provincial police will continue to mobilise more forces and vehicles to support residents overcome flood consequences.
Nguyễn Hữu Minh, chairman of the Kỳ Sơn District People’s Committee, said: “By all means, we must enter isolated areas. Moving people to a safe place is the top priority.” VNS