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Floods leave 21 dead in central region

Released at: 10:52, 17/10/2016

Floods leave 21 dead in central region

Photos: VNA

Heavy rainfall triggers flooding and landslides in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces.

by Nguyen Ha

At least 21 people have died, eight are missing, and many are injured after severe flooding hit a number of central provinces.

Fifteen people were killed and seven others reported missing in Quang Binh province, while two died in each of the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Thua Thien Hue, according to a report released on October 16 by the Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

About 100,000 houses, mostly in Quang Binh, are underwater and damaged, while seven have completely collapsed.

Ha Tinh authorities said that water released from hydropower dams on the night of October 14 caused water levels to rise quickly and the situation quickly got out of control.

Nearly 1,600 ha of rice and more than 9,000 ha of other agricultural land are underwater while 36 spots on national roads are flooded or eroded, leading to traffic congestion.

Flooding and erosion along the north-south rail link on October 15 delayed some 43 trains, with around 10,000 passengers and 400 tons of cargo affected. One train was carrying 96 foreigners.

The section of the north-south National Highway No. 1A in Quang Binh was reopened to vehicles on the afternoon of October 15 after water levels receded, the Ministry of Transport said.

At a meeting on the floods on October 16, the standing board of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control asked that reservoirs be examined so that any release of water does not affect the safety of residents in downstream areas.

“They must also keep an eye on typhoon Sarika, which entered the East Sea on the morning of October 16, and inform ocean-going vessels,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang, who is also deputy head of the committee’s standing board.

In the face of serious flood damage, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Red Cross Society decided to provide initial emergency relief worth VND1.97 billion ($88,600) in cash and goods to people in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Quang Tri provinces.

From October 13 to 15, Quang Binh province, the worst affected, recorded rainfall of between 600 and 900mm and in particular up to 920mm in Dong Hoi city and 950mm in Ham Ninh commune, triggering widespread floods.

The Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control asked affected localities to keep a close watch on the rainfall and flooding, search for those reported missing, evacuate people in areas prone to flash flooding and landslides, and repair roads.

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