HA NOI — At least four people died after heavy rains in central Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces disrupted road and railway routes over the weekend.
Three people died in Khanh Hoa Province, including a 10-month-old toddler who was swept away by violent currents in Dien Khanh District's Dien Thanh Commune.
In Phu Yen Province, a small boat capsized killing an old man onboard in Dong Hoa District, while another man was swept away in Ninh Thuan Province's Ninh Phuoc District and is still missing.
More than 450 houses were brought down by the floods, and almost 6,000 hectares of various crops were damaged.
Landslides shut down a section of National Highway 1 near the Ca Mountain Pass between Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa Provinces and workers were only able to finally clear the road last Sunday afternoon.
Many other sections of the road were submerged under depths of 0.5 to 0.7m of water.
Landslides also paralysed sections of the north-south railway. More than 1,000 passengers have been stranded at Phu Yen Province's Tuy Hoa Station since Friday.
Officials at Tuy Hoa Station instructed passengers to board buses to continue their trips to HCM City.
Rescue workers successfully saved 22 passengers from a coach stranded under 1.7 metres of flood water early last Sunday on a provincial road in Khanh Hoa Province's Dien Khanh District.
Unprecedented rainfall in Khanh Hoa Province measuring up to 300mm on average, almost reached 500mm in its capital city, Nha Trang.
Elsewhere, rainfall in Ninh Thuan Province ranged from 170 to 320mm, and its capital city of Phan Rang received close to 280mm of rainfall last Sunday evening.
Water levels in provincial rivers would continue to rise, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Centre, and floods would probably linger for a number of days.
In another development, the northwestern town of Sapa in Lao Cai Province suffered a sudden cold snap yesterday with temperatures dropping to under 10 degrees Celsius.
The sudden drop in temperature combined with regular showers disrupted daily activities in the mountainous town, and local residents decided to stay indoors, while local hospitals reported a rise of 30 per cent of respiratory complaints.
Thick fog blanketed the town and reduced visibility on the road linking Sapa with the provincial capital of Lao Cai, disrupting traffic.
Some cattle even froze to death because local farmers were unprepared for the unexpected cold snap.
South-central provinces were badly hit, just one week after historically large floods devastated the north-central provinces of Nghe An, Quang Binh and Ha Tinh, leaving dozens of people dead and causing millions of dollars of damage. — VNS