Disasters & Accidents

48 dead, 30 missing in floods, landslides in central Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Oct 15 (efe-epa).- Emergency crews in Vietnam have found the bodies of eight out of at least 30 people who were buried by landslides near a hydroelectric dam in the center of the country, where floods have caused a total of 48 deaths in the past week.

On Monday, 17 people were buried in a landslide at Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant construction site, the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said. Only one body has been retrieved.

Thirteen emergency responders sent in to rescue them were buried by another landslide just hours later, VNA said.

Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed in helicopters and other military vehicles to reach the remote area in Thua Thien Hue province where the two accidents occurred.

More than 9,600 soldiers, police officers and civilian volunteers have been called on by the defense ministry to be ready for deployment to assist people in the worst flood-hit areas.

The landslides were triggered by torrential downpours that have battered the central part of the country for over a week. More rains have been forecast for the coming weekend.

The eight deaths and 22 people as yet unaccounted for have not been added to the government’s casualty toll of 40 dead and eight missing.

The rainstorms have flooded more than 135,000 homes, has destroyed crops on over 6,000 hectares of farmland and killed hundreds of thousands of livestock.

According to VNA, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, has called for 4,500 tons of rice to be sent to the area, while the Foreign Ministry has contacted relevant agencies in the Philippines, China, and other countries in the region requesting assistance to Vietnamese fishermen caught at sea during the storm.

In neighboring Cambodia, where downpours since 1 October have caused floods in nine provinces and the capital, at least 13 people have died, while more than 10,000 people have been evacuated and 25,000 houses and 84,000 hectares of crops have been damaged, according to the government.

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