Death toll rises to eight in central Vietnam deluge

By Staff reporters   December 10, 2018 | 10:28 pm PT
Death toll rises to eight in central Vietnam deluge
A family of three in Quang Nam Province sit on a boat in their flooded home. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
At least eight people have died and two others are missing as heavy downpours flood thousands of houses in central Vietnam.

An extreme northeast monsoon dumping huge amounts of rain on central Vietnam since Saturday has triggered severe flooding in Da Nang City and the provinces of Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, and Thua Thien-Hue.

The bodies of two women, aged 35 and 63, swept away by flash floods were found in Quang Tri Sunday morning.

Authorities in neighboring Quang Nam Province have reported three deaths and one missing as of Tuesday noon.

Nguyen Van Dung, an official in the nearby Binh Dinh Province, said the bodies of three people were found Tuesday morning after being washed away by floodwaters Monday night. One other person is missing. Rescue forces are also looking for a local man who went missing while rowing on the local river in the nearby Quang Ngai Province.

Dubbed Vietnam’s most livable city, Da Nang has suffered heavy damage after the heaviest rainfall it has experienced in years inundated 2,550 houses and flooded several downtown streets.

Videos of residents kayaking and rowing boats on the flooded streets have gone viral on the internet.

Several top tourists destinations in Da Nang have been closed for tourists for fear of landslides. Prolonged downpours have caused severe erosion along its most popular beach My Khe and Son Tra Peninsula, home to hundreds of rare douc langurs.

Many schools are submerged under up to a meter of water, and 7,000 students in the city have been asked to stay at home.

From around 7 p.m. Saturday until Monday morning, Da Nang received a record high 635 mm in rainfall, the highest since 1975, per available records.

Rainfall of above 180mm a day is considered heavy.

On Tuesday morning, residents were struggling to clean up the mess after floodwaters receded in many parts of Da Nang.

A report from Binh Dinh said flooding has submerged more than 2,000 houses and damaged 6,800 hectares of rice fields. Several national highways are under water, paralyzing traffic in and around the locality; and stranding many motorbikes with dead engines.

Even after flood waters have receded, many villages and towns are left isolated and unreachable by mud and stones deposited by landslides.

Quang Nam, home to the UNESCO heritage My Son Sanctuary and popular ancient town Hoi An, has received rainfall of up to 800 mm over the past three days, and more than 17,000 houses are submerged.

Several sections of National Highway 1A in the province are deep under water, paralyzing traffic.

Quang Ngai Province has reported that around 100 houses are still flooded, 170 hectares of agricultural produce have been damaged and 86,000 poultry killed.

In the first 10 months of this year, natural disasters have left 185 people dead or missing and injured 134 others, costing the country more than VND8.8 trillion ($381 million), according to the General Statistics Office.

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