Flash flood kills two in Lào Cai

September 13, 2023 - 12:06
Heavy rain in Lào Cai northern mountain province on Tuesday night had caused flash flood and landslides in several areas, killing two people, missing four people and washing away many local residents’ property in Liên Minh Commune.
Flash flooding occurred in Liên Minh commune, Sa Pa town, on Tuesday night. — VNA/VNS Photo

LÀO CAI — Heavy rain in Lào Cai Province on Tuesday night caused flash floods and landslides in several areas, resulting in the deaths of two people, leaving four others missing, and washing away the properties of many local residents in Liên Minh Commune.

Phan Đăng Toàn, Secretary of the Party Committee of Sa Pa Town, said on Wednesday that heavy flooding also occurred in Phìn Ngan Commune, Bát Xát District, at 9pm, sweeping away one person in Suối Chải village.

According to preliminary information, heavy rain lasting approximately 30 minutes caused the water levels of three main streams in the Nậm Phá, Nậm Cang and Nậm Than communes to rise suddenly, preventing local residents from moving to a safe place.

Sudden flash floods also swept away all the salmon and sturgeon being raised and many other people's properties.

Roads leading to Liên Minh Commune have been cut off due to high floodwaters and extensive inundated areas, making rescue forces inaccessible.

Around 10 pm on Tuesday, rescue teams were finally able to reach the disaster-stricken area and retrieve the first two bodies swept away by the floodwaters, handing them over to their families.

On Wednesday morning, the chairman of the provincial People's Committee, Trịnh Xuân Trường, directed rescue and relief efforts in Sa Pa Town, assisting residents in moving to safe places.

The heavy rain on Tuesday night also flooded many roads, causing local transportation to come to a standstill

The provincial Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue Department directed localities to closely monitor weather forecasts through media channels in order to implement specific plans and measures to mitigate damages.

A review of households living in areas prone to landslides, flash floods, inundation, and erosion was also needed to prepare for relocation plans. Equipment and on-site personnel must be ready for disaster prevention and response.

Investors and construction units were urged to strictly implement disaster prevention measures at construction sites.

Localities were required to monitor the state and assess the conditions of dams and hydroelectric plant reservoirs.

Patrols and warning signs were deployed in areas at risk of inundation, flash floods, landslides, and erosion to guide residents and vehicles and ensure their safety.

Prime Minister's direction

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Wednesday issued Official Telegram No. 797/CĐ-TTg, focusing on addressing the aftermath of flash floods in Lào Cai and preemptively responding to floods in mountainous and northern midlands areas.

In the telegram, the Prime Minister extended his condolences to the victims' families.

According to forecasts from the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, the northern mountainous and midland areas are expected to experience continued rainfall in the coming days, posing risks of flash floods, landslides, and local flooding in low-lying areas.

The Prime Minister urged the authorities not to underestimate these threats and to focus on leadership and swift action to address the recent natural disaster and stabilise people's lives.

Specifically, the Prime Minister called on the Chairman of the People's Committee of Lào Cai Province and other affected regions to mobilise resources for finding missing individuals and providing medical care to the injured. They should also arrange visits, offer support, and promptly assist families affected by the disaster, especially those with casualties, households that lost their homes, and vulnerable families.

Additionally, close monitoring of flood developments, proactive direction, and efficient response measures were stressed to ensure the safety of lives, including organising reviews and evacuations, particularly in areas at risk of flash floods, landslides, and deep flooding. Strict control of people and vehicles in hazardous areas was highlighted to guarantee safety.

Efforts should be made to support affected individuals in rapidly recovering from the natural disaster, restoring production, and regaining stability in their lives.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was tasked with providing accurate and timely forecasts and warnings of floods, landslides, and flash floods to relevant agencies for effective response and decision-making.

The Ministry of Transport was directed to manage traffic and ensure safety in flood-affected areas, promptly addressing issues and maintaining smooth traffic, especially on major routes.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade were assigned responsibilities for coordinating with localities to ensure dam safety and prevent artificial floods and flash floods due to climate change impacts on dam lakes.

The National Committee on Incident and Disaster Response, Search and Rescue, along with the Ministries of National Defence and Public Security, were urged to proactively lead and support localities in response, search and rescue efforts, ensuring prompt and effective actions as needed.

Lastly, the National Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control was asked to closely monitor the natural disaster situation, proactively direct, inspect, and push localities to implement prevention and control measures, mitigate disaster-related damage. — VNS