Thousands in central Vietnam swamped in the aftermath of floods

By Thanh Nguyen   December 19, 2016 | 11:35 am GMT+7

Flash floods and overflowing rivers continue to bring misery to the central region with Binh Dinh Province bearing the brunt.


When floodwaters started receding on Sunday, farmer Nguyen Kim Nhan in Thanh Giang Village tried to drain any excess water from his garden to save his apricot trees. “The Tet holiday is near. We are doing our best to save as many trees as we can. There is no way we can avoid a heavy loss this year,” said the flower farmer, referring to the fact that he has lost about 3,000 trees to the floods. Delicate yellow apricot blossoms are highly prized in the southern part of the country during Tet. 


“The floods came in fast, breaching the banks of a nearby river and flooding our village. My house was completely destroyed, I felt numb with shock. Luckily, I have neighbors who have helped me set up a makeshift home,” said Tran Thi Loan, a resident of My Chanh Commune in Phu My District.


Loan said her family had been saving money for many years before they were able to afford to build a house three years ago. But she still counts herself lucky as everyone in her family was spared from the flood. “My husband and I will work harder towards the day we have enough money to rebuild the house,” Loan said.


The clean up effort will be a long and hard task.


Neighbors and friends help to construct a makeshift tent for Nguyen Thi Tinh and her daughter, who have lost everything in the floods. 


“The floods hit us on Thursday night, we were totally caught off guard,” Tinh said.


Two destroyed motorcycles covered in mud left by the floods.


Downpours have lashed the area, flooding rural roads and villages. “We have to paddle through flooded roads in a boat,  and we have eaten instant noodles for almost a week,” said Bui Thi Chi, carrying a box of instant noodles provided by local authorities.


Local people work as a team, helping each other to survive in the aftermath of the floods. 


Two men in Thai Thuan Village join forces with a power company to reconnect the area. “Our power has been cut off for the past three days,” said Tran Tien. 


Electricity workers said the floods have damaged at least 500 meters of cables. 


The floods have burst river dykes and forced residents to flee, said local authorities.


Fatalities in Binh Dinh Province have jumped to 34 following landslides, lightning and flash floods, according to the local authorities.

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