|Rescuers search for a missing victim after four men in central Phu Yen Province's Tay Hoa District were swept away by floods following a landslide last Friday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trinh Bang Nhiem – Vu Xuan Trieu
CENTRAL REGION (VNS)— People in central provinces are being battered by constant landslides and flash floods triggered by torrential rains.
The situation was typical for central and central highlands regions during the rainy season, Vo Dinh Dung, Head of Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam's Road Management Centre 5 in central Da Nang City, told Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper.
In Phu Yen Province, the fourth victim of a flash flood on Friday is still missing, despite the best efforts of local rescue teams in Son Thanh Tay Commune.
Deputy chairman of the communal People's Committee Tran Duc Hoa said four men aged 30-34 had set up camp at a shed near a local stream and gone into the forest to gather wild orchids.
Local soldiers and rescuers, he continued, discovered the bodies of three of the men about 300 metres from the shed on Saturday morning after a six-hour search.
According to Hoa, the committee would send more people to seek the last victim.
Phan Cong Thang, chairman of the communal People's Council, believed this flash flood was the largest the commune had ever seen because it swept away many tall trees as well as rocks weighing tens of tonnes.
In Quang Ngai Province, about 20,000 cubic metres of mud and rock filled the first floor of the Animal Health Centre, Agriculture Promotion Centre and Plant Protection Centre in Son Tay District on Saturday afternoon, said Le Van Tung, chairman of the district People's Committee.
Up to 100 local soldiers were sent to remedy the situation, he said, adding that fortunately, no human losses were reported.
The district's committee plans to build stone embankments behind the buildings to prevent landslides when the rainy season ended.
Tung said that the risks of landslides in mountainous areas had become more and more unpredicted and severe. He blamed this change on the destruction of forest to build hydro-power plants and the cutting of mountains for construction projects.
However, solving the problem was out of the hands of local authorities, he said. The only way to ensure safety was to predict when floods would occur and help local people to evacuate in small groups.
The rainy season occurs between October and December in the central region and between June and December in central highland region.
According to Dung from the road management centre, damages were estimated to reach thousands of billions of dong each year in the transport sector alone, yet localities could not afford the necessary repairs. — VNS