21 killed in Vietnam flash floods
Floods triggered by a tropical storm are being blamed for the deaths of at least 21 people in Vietnam and with 22 others missing, the toll is expected to rise.world Updated: Oct 06, 2007 16:08 IST
Floods triggered by a tropical storm are being blamed for the deaths of at least 21 people in Vietnam and with 22 others missing, the toll is expected to rise, officials said on Saturday.
Rains from slow moving Typhoon Lekima, which was downgraded to a tropical storm when it made landfall late Wednesday, have drenched much of central and northern Vietnam.
Rescuers are struggling to reach people trapped by rising floodwaters. More than 2,000 soldiers have been sent in to help with relief efforts.
In the northern mountainous province of Son La, flash floods killed five people and left five others missing, according to Hoang A Pua with the province's Flood and Storm Department.
"We are searching for the missing at the moment now that the rains have started to subside," said Pua. "But there is little hope that the missing are still alive."
Thanh Hoa province received 788 mm of water in the past three days, according to the National Hydrometeorology Forecast Centre. Water levels in Nghe An province in central Vietnam have hit record highs.
At least six people have been reported dead and 14 missing in floods in Nghe An province, 300 km south of Hanoi, according to Ha Huy Thong with the province's Flood and Storm Department.
"It's the worst flooding in years in Nghe An," Thong said. "In Quy Chau district, the water level has reached a 20-year high."
Seven others died when the typhoon struck the coastal region earlier in the week. The death toll would likely have been higher but tens of thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas.
Officials estimate that the damage from Typhoon Lekima will total $41 million.
More rain is expected when Vietnam is hit by the tail end of Typhoon Krosa that is on course to strike Taiwan late on Saturday.