Monday, October 22 2018

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Mường Lát isolated after deadly flash floods and landslides

Update: September, 04/2018 - 17:00
Soldiers clean up a school in Thanh Hóa Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Khiếu Tư
Viet Nam News

THANH HÓA — Nine people have died and three more are missing in the central province of Thanh Hóa’s Mường Lát District following torrential rain, and the area remains cut off by landslides that are preventing emergency aid from getting through.

Phạm Bá Điểm, vice chairman of Mường Lát District’s People’s Committee, said flash floods triggered by torrential rain had swept away 105 houses, with Poọng Village the worst affected with 55 houses destroyed and 10 others seriously damaged.

Residents have been forced to evacuate the village due to a shortage of clean water and food.

By Monday, more than 300 households had been moved to higher ground, and the residents have purchased one tonne of rice that it is serving in temporary shelters.

However, the food is running out while national highways 15C and 15A remain blocked due to landslides. Vehicles can only reach Táo Village in Trung Lý Commune, which is about 40 kilometres from Mường Lát Town.

Cao Văn Cường, chairman of Mường Lát District’s People’s Committee, said it could take ten days to clear the roads to the district. 

Currently, walking is the only way to reach Mường Lát Town and nearby areas.

In Quan Hóa District, all the roads have been cleared. 

The district’s Department of Education and Training said the torrential rains had damaged six schools in the district just before the start of the new school year.

Trung Sơn Primary School, Trung Thành Secondary School, Trung Thành Pre-school, Thanh Xuân Primary School and Thành Sơn Primary School have all been damaged and inundated with mud.

At Trung Sơn Primary School, thousands of cubic metres of mud have engulfed the classrooms and broken windows, leaving at least nine classrooms totally destroyed.

Reports from the provincial Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control showed that Thanh Hóa had suffered the highest number of casualties, with nine people dead and three others missing.

As many as 277 houses were swept away, while more than 230 houses were partly damaged and up to 12,550 houses were submerged.

About 1,000 hectares of rice crops were totally destroyed, and thousands of other crops remain under water.

In total 151 spots were hit by landslides or flooding, and by Monday only 56 had been cleared.

Rainfall is forecast in Thanh Hóa Province for the next several days, posing the risk of more flash floods and landslides in Mường Lát District.

Torrential rains since early this week and rising river levels have caused flooding and landslides in northern and central provinces, blocking national highways and paralysing traffic for hours. 

Scattered rain is forecast for the next few days. — VNS

Trung Sơn Primary School in Thanh Hóa Province’s Quan Hóa District has been seriously damaged and covered with mud due to flash floods and landslides. – Photo baogiaothong.vn

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