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More flash floods, landslides to hit north Vietnam

More flash floods and landslides were expected on Sunday in northern Vietnam, where more than 70 people have been killed and dozens remained missing after floods swept through their villages and damaged rice crops.

world Updated: Aug 10, 2008 08:11 IST

More flash floods and landslides were expected on Sunday in northern Vietnam, where more than 70 people have been killed and dozens remained missing after floods swept through their villages and damaged rice crops.

The National Meteorology Centre forecast more serious flash floods and landslides would occur in several northern mountainous provinces including Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau and Back Kan.

"(The) rain and flash flood situation remains very complicated," the centre said.

The mountainous province of Lao Cai, bordering China, was the most seriously hit area with 32 people killed by landslides and flash floods on Friday night and Saturday, provincial officials said.

"We are still counting the dead and searching for the missing but we expect the toll to be bad, especially at those villages that have been isolated after roads were washed away and communication lost," a spokesman for Lao Cai's Storm
and Flood Prevention Centre told Reuters by telephone on Sunday.

He said at least 31 people in Lao Cai were still missing.

"Although the sky has cleared, the biggest threat now is landslide," the official said.

In the neighbouring province of Yen Bai, more than 20 people were killed after landslides buried their homes and nearly
2,000 hectares of rice crops were damaged, the provincial government said in a report.

A train carrying tourists to Lao Cai was hit by flash floods in Yen Bai but all passengers were evacuated safely, the report said.

The National Meteorology Centre said on Saturday at least five people were missing in Lao Cai's resort town of Sapa, popular with foreign tourists, but it was not known if foreigners were among the victims.