Viet Nam News
LÀO CAI – At least four people were dead and another seven missing after flooding struck northern Lào Cai Province, authorities reported yesterday.
Lào Cai People’s Committee said that they believed many others were still trapped under earth and rocks following a flash flood on Thursday night.
Typhoon Nida brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to northern Việt Nam after making landfall on Tuesday night.
The mountainous Bát Xát District suffered the heaviest human loss in the flooding with three people killed while six are still missing.
One of the dead was from Sa Pa District as was one of the missing.
Lào Cai Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Rescue (SCDPR) said that at least 76 households in Bát Xát’s Phìn Ngan and Quang Kim communes were isolated by the flooding as bridges and roads were cut off.
More than 100 households in Cốc San commune were partially flooded.
Over 10,000ha of paddy fields and another 1,000ha of vegetables were under water or rocks brought with the flash flood, according to the SCDPR.
Farmers took another blow from the terrible weather as more than 300 animals were killed in the flood.
The SCDPR estimated damages caused by the flood so far at more than VNĐ200 billion (US$8.9 million).
Lào Cai Hydro-meteorological Centre Director Lưu Minh Hải said that Bát Xát received 152mm of rain as of yesterday morning, while some 63mm and 72mm fell across Lào Cai City and Bảo Yên District respectively.
“Lào Cai residents have not seen such a big flood and downpour since 2008,” he told Dân Việt (Vietnamese folks) newspaper yesterday.
Heavy downpours triggered massive landslides in the region, temporarily halting traffic within Lào Cai and to other localities.
Municipal Department of Transportation (DoT) Director Nông Văn Hưng said that about 13,000 cubic metres of earth and rocks fell over a section of the 4D National Highway in Sa Pa District. The highway connects Lào Cai and neighbouring Lai Châu Province.
Hưng said that all vehicles are now barred from travelling on the Lào Cai – Lai Châu section of the 4D highway. The ban started yesterday and will last until further notice from the DoT.
Traffic jams were also reported on routes leading to Sa Pa and connecting Bát Xát district centre to other communes including Phìn Ngan, Quang Kim and Tòng Sành.
Deputy Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng yesterday afternoon visited Lào Cai to monitor the rescue and the disaster relief work.
He asked local authorities to urgently look for the missing persons and prepare temporary accommodation and enough food for residents who lost their houses in the flooding.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also ordered the National Committee for Search and Rescue and the ministries of Public Security and National Defence to deploy forces based in the region to look for the missing persons and provide disaster relief.
Local health facilities were asked to offer free treatment to the injured and to help residents in the clean-up work for disease prevention after the flood ceases. – VNS