Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces

By Le Hoang   August 5, 2019 | 04:41 pm PT
More than 300 villagers in Thanh Hoa Province are still transfixed by their loss caused by heavy rains triggered by storm Wipha on Saturday.
Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces

Sa Na Village in Na Meo Commune, Quan Son District, sits next to Son Stream where more than 300 villagers call home. Most of them are Thai minorities.

Rains poured down the village the whole Friday night before flash floods wiped away 20 houses with 15 people early on Saturday morning, when many were still asleep and there was little time for them to do anything.

"For a hundred years, since our fathers founded this village, there has never been such disastrous flood," said Sa Na village head Nguyen Xuan Phuong.

Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces - 1

A man looks inert sitting on the rubble caused by the flood.

Ha Thi Yen, 80, his neighbor, said: "In just about 15 minutes, a section of the village became flat ground... The water quickly rose to my rooftop, collapsing on us like a tsunami," Yen said.

She and her children were able to flee to a mountainside before the waves got them.

Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces - 2

Ha Van Van, 29, sits in silence by his window, as there's been no news of his six family members who were swept by the flood: his parents, sister, wife and two son, who are seven and 10 years old.

Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces - 3

A motorbike is buried under a pile of dirt and roots. The storm has hijacked of the village not only its residents but also their houses, asset, and rice fields.

Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces - 4

Several villagers sit by the bank of the Luong River waiting for updates on the missing persons. Since Saturday, the rescue team has found five victims, but 10 are still missing.

To reach the village, local authorities had to cross a forest and a river on motorboats on Sunday. "Nearly 1,000 people participated in the rescue comprising police, army, militia and civilians," Tieu said.

Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces - 5

Apart from the 20 houses that had been swept away, the flood has dismantled many houses.

Storm Wipha victims pick up the pieces - 6

Two police officers use a motorboat to deliver food supplies to Sa Na villagers. 

Thanh Hoa suffers the worst blow from tropical storm Wipha. As of Tuesday morning, the province has recorded five casualties. Four other people were killed in the northern provinces of Bac Kan, Dien Bien, Lao Cai and Phu Tho.

Storm Wipha side effects disrupt daily life in northern, north-central Vietnam.

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