5 killed in overnight downpours across Vietnam's northern mountains

By Vi Vu, Pham Huong   August 2, 2017 | 09:03 pm PT
15 others are missing after flash floods and landslides ripped through the country’s northern provinces.

At least five people were killed by lightning and landslides on Wednesday night in Vietnam’s northern mountains, and another 15 are missing following less than a day of heavy downpours.

The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said that a landslide killed one person in Yen Bai Province, while a woman in Bac Kan Province was struck dead by lightning.

Son La Province, where footage from the provincial news portal shows raging floods, reported three deaths.

"We've never seen such strong floods," a woman from Yen Bai said.

Heavy thunderstorms with rainfall of between 250-350mm are forecast in the northern highlands for the rest of the week, and the committee has warned provinces to prepare for more floods and landslides.

It’s the peak of the stormy season in Vietnam. Last month, Tropical Storm Talas killed at least eight people and left many others missing in central provinces.

Natural disasters such as floods and tropical storms killed 264 people across the country last year and caused damage worth nearly VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), five times more than in 2015, government data showed.

Vietnam is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change, and the impacts of natural disasters are likely to become harsher and more unexpected.

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