|Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (third from right) examines local people working to repair the damage caused by landslides in Ban Khoang Commune, northern Lao Cai Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
HA NOI (VNS)— Torrential rains, floods and landslides in northern provinces have claimed 25 lives since the beginning of the month, according to the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention.
In the committee's latest report issued on Saturday, Lao Cai Province saw the highest number of casualties, with 10 deaths, followed by Thai Nguyen, Lai Chau and Vinh Phuc with three each; Lang Son and Dien Bien with two; and Ha Giang and Son La with one.
The floods also injured 16, destroyed 139 houses and submerged over 6,800 hectares of rice and other crops. Vinh Phuc was the province having the largest area of rice field inundated.
The total financial loss caused by the disaster to the provinces is estimated at about VND39.2 billion (US$1.9 million).
Authorities in the localities have begun to clear many roads that have been inundated with water and debris.
Visiting Sa Pa District in Lao Cai Province, one of the worst flood affected locality, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the local authorities to mobilize all resources to support victims to overcome the difficulties.
He also urged the province to promptly seek suitable locations for resettlement for those who lost houses and those living in dangerous areas.
He proposed Lao Cai province rebuild roads damaged by the landslides and provide 200 tonnes of food relief to flood victims.
The Government leader also gave VND5 million ($238) to each family of the deceased in the district's Ban Khoang Commune.
According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, the water level is still rising dangerously in a number of rivers in northern provinces but is expected to abate slightly today.
It also warned that floods and landslides are likely to continue hitting the northern localities of Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Cao Bang, Bac Can, Thai Nguyen and Phu Tho.
Meanwhile, during last Friday's late afternoon storm, 11 among 16 communes of HCM City's Binh Chanh District were hit hard by heavy rains and whirlwinds. More than 250 houses were damaged including 30 houses that completely collapsed. No casualties were reported.
Each family whose roofs were blown off during the storm were given a support of VND1.5 million ($71) and those who have houses completely destroyed was given VND8 million ($381) each.
The financial assistance came from HCM City's Fatherland Front Committee and the district's People's Committee. — VNS