|Part of a stone embankment that collapsed in Thach Ban Commune, Thach Ha District, in Ha Tinh Province due to heavy rain and floodwaters from Storm Wutip. — VNA/VNS Photo Phan Quan
HA NOI (VNS)— Storm Wutip killed at least nine people and injured 199 others in central provinces while one person remains missing, according to the latest updates from the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control.
The dead include a 36-year-old woman swept away by floods in Nghe An Province, and a 1-year-old girl killed by a falling steel plate in Quang Binh Province.
Meanwhile, two Radio Voice of Viet Nam correspondents were killed in Quang Binh Province after a 150-m steel antenna tower collapsed on top of them.
In Nghe An Province, local rescue teams yesterday morning discovered the body of the provincial Industry and Trade Department's deputy director Nguyen Tai Dung after a nearly 10-hour search.
Dung was killed on Tuesday night when his car, carrying instant noodles and bottled water to flood-affected locals, was swept away by floods. His body was found in his car, although his driver survived.
The committee said about 370 houses had collapsed, 25,700 were flooded and a further 194,000 had their roofs blown off.
Up to 17,000ha of rice and other crops were destroyed in the storm, while nearly 23,000 metres of road were damaged, bringing traffic to a standstill for hours.
The Storm and Flood Prevention and Rescue Centre's Central and Central Highlands Office estimated the total cost of the damage to be around VND4.9 trillion (US$232 million).
According to the office, 13 out of 69 nearby reservoirs overflowed due to heavy rains triggered by the storm in central and central highland provinces.
In Ha Tinh Province, heavy rains with rainfall up to 200mm, from Tuesday night until yesterday morning, caused two river embankments to burst, inundating hundreds of local households in Thach Ban Commune.
Nearly 200 soldiers of Viet Nam and Laos were sent to evacuate residents to safe ground, with a blackout in the commune due to heavy rains.
Farmers of several districts in the province suffered big losses when marine and poultry farms were swept away by the harsh weather conditions.
Nguyen Van Nguyen, a farmer rearing 10,000 chickens in Thach Ha Commune, said that his chicken farm was inundated by waters 1 metre deep, causing VND1.2 billion ($56,800) in damages.
Head of the provincial Aquaculture Department Nguyen Cong Hoang said that nearly 300ha of aqua farming had been swept away, adding that authorised agencies were yet to calculate the damage.
In Quang Binh Province's Canh Duong Commune, an initial loss of VND38 billion ($1.8 million) was reported due to the storm with strong winds and 3-4m big waves.
Pham Quoc Hong, a local resident, said, "I haven't seen a strong storm like this in 30 years."
Hundreds of local fishermen mourned the loss or severe damage to their fishing vessels anchored off Loan River.
Meanwhile, thousands of students at 30 local schools in Nghe An Province were kept home from school due to floods.
Authorities of all the provinces have supported local people to remedy the storm's consequences.
In a related movement, the Viet Nam Fatherland Front's Ha Noi Chapter donated VND7 billion ($331,000) to people in six storm-affected central provinces.
The Ministry of Health has sent medicines, chemicals for sterilisation and life jackets for the flood-affected localities.
The ministry ordered its health departments in the localities to be on duty 24 hours to help storm's victims.
The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said the provinces of Nghe An, Binh Dinh and northern parts of central highland provinces had been put on high alert for floods and landslides.
The centre also predicts that about two storms or tropical low-pressure systems would batter the East Sea this month. October is expected to bring heavy rains to the central region, flash floods forecast to hit the region this month, the centre said. — VNS