HA NOI — Severe floods had left 12 dead and nine missing in the central provinces as of yesterday while a tropical storm is forecast to hit the East Sea today.
Houses in central Quang Binh Province's Le Thuy District are partly submerged. — VNA/VNS Photos Ho Cau and Phan Dinh Quan
Floods caused traffic problems on National Highway 1.
Most of the victims were swept away in flash floods while travelling in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, reported local authorities.
"The swift current and an immense sea of water on a large area make it difficult for us to search for the missing," said Nguyen Hong Ha, a local from Nghe An Province's Nghi Trung Commune.
Vietnam News Agency journalists reported that waters continued to rise in these provinces.
The three consecutive days of torrential rains that ended last Saturday also flooded thousands of houses in these provinces for the second time since the beginning of October, said the Flood and Storm Control Steering Committee.
In Quang Binh alone, 10,000 families were evacuated to safe places and some 40,000 houses remained flooded, nearly half of which were 1.5-2m deep in water, said the provincial People's Committee chairman Nguyen Huu Hoai.
Heavy rains and flooding also blocked road and railway transport, isolating more than 100,000 houses in Ha Tinh Province after its Mo and Khe Mung hydro-power dams were broken.
"Rain has resulted in landslides leaving 25 areas under thousands of cubic metres of soil and rocks and blocking transport on National Highway 8A," said Nguyen Truong Tuong, director of 474 Road Management and Repair Company.
National Highway 1A was also 1m deep in water and many provincial roads remained many metres under water, preventing rescue teams from reaching flooded houses.
|Relief announced for flood victims |
The most severely flood-ravaged provinces of Quang Binh and Ha Tinh will receive VND200 billion (US$10 million) and 2,000 tonnes of rice, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung decided yesterday.
The support will be taken from the National Reserve.
The Government leader also sent out an urgent message last Saturday requiring all relevant Government agencies and organisations to evacuate and support local inhabitants in dangerous places, search for and rescue victims and continue to protect dikes and reservoirs.
The north-south railway was suspended between Nghe An's Vinh Station and Quang Binh's Dong Hoi Station after many parts of the rails were washed away in the floods, said Nguyen Huu Tuyen, head of the Viet Nam Railway's Transport Business Department.
He couldn't say when the section could reopen but workers would start fixing the rails as soon as water subsided.
Three north-south trains were cancelled yesterday while some 3,000 passengers who were stranded at these two stations last Saturday continued their journey by bus.
Meanwhile, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting says Storm Megi, the incoming tropical storm that formed in the Philippines, is travelling west at 20kph and is predicted to be 300km east of Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago by Wednesday morning.
The previous floods in early October killed 66 people in the centre of Viet Nam. — VNS