One killed, 13 missing as storm Wipha causes flash floods in Thanh Hoa

By Le Hoang   August 2, 2019 | 11:13 pm PT
One killed, 13 missing as storm Wipha causes flash floods in Thanh Hoa
Flood water runs through Thanh Hoa Province, August 3, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Muong Lat.
At least one person died and 13 others are missing as heavy rains triggered by storm Wipha flooded many areas in Thanh Hoa Province.

Flash floods swept away 20 houses in Quan Son District at 5 a.m. Saturday, leaving three people injured while 13 others are still unaccounted for.

At least one died in the north central province, according to local authorities.

Pham Van Tieu, chairman of Na Meo Commune, Quan Son District, said: "The fierce floods came when people were sleeping, so there's little time for them to do anything."

The search efforts have been undermined by heavy downpours and landslides, he added.

On July 31, Thanh Hoa resident Bui Dinh Khiem, 58, was swept away by flash floods and his body is yet to be found. His wife also got stuck in the raging stream while looking for him, but was rescued by local villagers.

Storm Wipha hit the coast of Quang Ninh Province and the nearby port city Hai Phong on Friday night and weakened into a tropical depression on Saturday morning.

It has caused heavy downpours that flooded streets in Quang Ninh, home to Ha Long Bay, Hai Phong, and nearby provinces.

Districts in Thanh Hoa have been battered by heavy downpours since Friday night. Muong Lat District, which borders Laos, had received 150-200 mm of rain as of Saturday morning. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

Several segments of provincial roads were eroded, paralyzing traffic in some of Muong Lat’s communes. Many villages and towns were isolated due to serious landslides, said Ha Van Te, a local official.  

In Quan Son and Quan Hoa districts, heavy rains accompanied with strong winds have damaged 34 houses and a kindergarten school and destroyed a large area of forest.

Local forces set up rafts to rescue Luong Van Chon trapped for hours on a tree in the middle of Son Stream in Thanh Hoa Province.

Hanoi reported rainfall of 66 mm in four hours on Saturday morning. Strong winds have uprooted dozens of trees in the capital.

Weather experts have warned of strong winds and high waves in the Gulf of Tonkin, including coastal areas in Quang Ninh and Hai Phong, over the next 24 hours.

The northern and north-central regions should expect downpours of 100-400mm until Sunday.

Vietnam can be hit by up to 10 tropical storms during the monsoon season between July and October. This year the number is expected to be four.

There were nine storms last year.

Natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides, killed 181 people last year and left 37 others missing and caused losses of around VND20 trillion ($858 million).

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