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Floods cause death, devastation

Update: October, 05/2010 - 21:20
The road connecting Trieu Giang and Trieu Phong districts to National Highway 1A in the central province of Quang Tri is submerged and impassable. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

The road connecting Trieu Giang and Trieu Phong districts to National Highway 1A in the central province of Quang Tri is submerged and impassable. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

HA NOI — Torrential rains brought floods and landslides to the country's central region, killing at least 12 and injuring four, with three people unaccounted for.

The floods have threatened thousands of hectares of rice fields and isolated thousands of households.

The latest figures from the central region show that four people have been killed in Ha Tinh Province, one in Quang Binh Province, three in Quang Tri Province and four in Nghe An Province. Four more people were injured and three remain missing.

The National Hydro-Meteorology Forecast Centre said rivers from Quang Tri to Thua Thien-Hue provinces would continue to rise. The water levels in Quang Binh Province's rivers had reached their peaks and were receding slowly.

Meteorologists warned of possible flash floods and landslides in submerged and low-lying areas from Ha Tinh to Thua Thien-Hue.

Director of the centre Bui Minh Tang said a low pressure, which had slowly moved west-northwest, was likely to increase in the next few days and would continue to bring heavy rainfall to the region. Heavy downpours were forecast from Nghe An to Quang Tri and a cold spell was likely to occur in northern provinces in the upcoming days.

Reports from Quang Binh Province said the water level at Ho Ho Hydroelectricity Dam in Tuyen Hoa District was 1m over its peak and at risk of breaching the dam.

Chief of the secretariat of the district People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Tan said the committee had requested permission to drain some of the excess water to minimise the dam breach.

The floods submerged around 8,000 houses, 1,000 of which by more than 1m deep. Five houses collapsed and 80 per cent of schools and agencies in the area were underwater.

Heavy downpours blocked roads in many areas and isolated Tuyen Hoa, Minh Hoa, Le Thuy and Quang Ninh districts.

More than 370 households located on the flood plain had been relocated.

In Ha Tinh Province, hundreds of soldiers were sent to help evacuate nearly 2,000 households from low-lying areas with orders to pack food for at least eight days.

As many as 18 landslides along Highway No8A had occurred, blocking traffic and drainage systems in Huong Son District for hours.

Nearly 100 workers were mobilised to clear the roads and keep watch around the clock to ensure people's safety.

In Quang Tri Province, heavy rainfall destroyed 36 houses, seriously damaged two drainage systems and blocked main roads including Highway No9 and Ho Chi Minh Road.

More than 1,000ha of subsidiary crops in Thua Thien-Hue Province were swept away and hundreds of hectares of aquaculture breeding facilities flooded.

About 20,000 people may have to be evacuated from the flood-prone areas if the torrential rains do not stop in the next few days. Currently, more than 3,000 houses are submerged.

At least five fishing vessels have sunk and three fishermen are missing due to heavy rainfall and strong winds in Nghe An Province.

The Central Steering Committee for Floods and Storms told localities to re-examine residential areas in low-lying areas and relocate them if necessary. It also asked the provinces to take control on flooded roads and instruct road users and vehicles.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade was requested to promptly take measures on the Ho Ho Dam to ensure the safety of surrounding households. — VNS

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