Dozens dead, missing in flash floods in the north

August 04, 2017 - 08:59

More than 30 people are dead or missing after tragically damaging rains and floods hit northern mountainous provinces over the past three days.

Torrential rains and floods destroy roads in Ít Ong Town in Mường La District of Sơn La Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Cường
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — More than 30 people are dead or missing after tragically damaging rains and floods hit northern mountainous provinces over the past three days.

A quick report from the standing office of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control on Thursday afternoon showed that continuous rains and floods in Bắc Kạn, Lai Châu, Điện Biên, Yên Bái and Sơn La killed numerous people.

In Yên Bái Province’s Mù Cang Chải District, the number of dead and missing people caused by flash floods was reported to be 15 at Thursday noon. The Nghĩa Lộ General Hospital sent a team of one doctor and two nurses in a fully-equipped ambulance to the district to support the injured.

Sơn La Province has recorded three deaths, 13 missing and three injured.

Of the missing victims, two from Lai Châu Province’s Mường Tè District were buried by rocks and stones caused by landslide on their way to a paddy field. Search and rescue efforts continue.

In addition, hundreds of houses collapsed and swept away.

Dozens of hectares of cultivated land were buried and dozens of cattle and poultry were swept away.

The floods have inundated national highways, including National Highway 12, 279B, 279C and 4H in Điện Biên Province, provincial roads including roads numbered 150, 142 and 143, and many other local routes.

The localities are continuing to review and assess damages.

Immediately following the disaster, the local authorities visited and mobilised forces and resources to help people overcome the consequences and stabilise their lives.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s Department of Irrigation and Dam Safety Management, water reservoirs are generally operated in accordance with the regulation process.

Reservoirs in the northern area reportedly contain a water level of 55-70 per cent of the designed capacity, reservoirs in the northern central region at 70-75 per cent. Hydropower reservoirs are closing all bottom discharge gates, the MARD reports.

The standing office of the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control issued Document No 339 on Wednesday to local steering committees on disaster prevention and control, search and rescue, requesting for closely monitor on the rains and floods, as well as inform the local authorities and people to take respond measures. Local authorities and hydropower plants in affected Sơn La, Hòa Bình and Tuyên Quang provinces were requested to ensure the safety of the reservoirs.

At the Government’s regular meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc sent a task force to check on the situation at the hard-hit Yên Bái Province.

The team included Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng and officials from the MARD and relevant ministries. — VNS