Three killed as prolonged rains ravage Vietnam province

By Nguyen Quy, Nguyen Hai   October 17, 2019 | 04:20 am PT
Three killed as prolonged rains ravage Vietnam province
People travel on a flooded street in Vinh, Nghe An Province, October 17, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Thang Nguyen.
Flash floods and lightning that came with torrential rains in the central province of Nghe An this week have left three people dead.

A 32-year-old man was struck by lightning on Wednesday while a 53-year-old man and a two-year-old boy were swept away by floods on Wednesday and Thursday.

A group of secondary school students were injured and hospitalized after being struck by lightning on the way to school on Wednesday.

Multiple roads in Vinh, the capital of Nghe An, were submerged by 0.5 meters, disrupting life for many families. Vinh received rainfall of 359mm in less than two days as of early Wednesday. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

"I have lived here for 15 years and have not witnessed such serious flooding," said Nguyen Quoc Thang, head of the urban management unit in Vinh.

One of the town’s three major pumps, which is designed to alleviate flooding, was not operational after rainwater damaged its engine, Thang said.

The other two pumps have been working around the clock, but could not lower the water level quickly enough due to continuous downpours from Monday, he said.

Heavy rains also flooded and damaged more than 5,000 houses and over 2,800 hectares of rice crops, local authorities said.

The nearby Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Quang Binh Provinces have also suffered prolonged downpours due to a cold spell since Wednesday.

The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting warned heavy rain in central Vietnam will continue until Saturday.

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

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