Scores killed, dozens missing as Vietnam battles floods and landslides

World News | Published:

The storm also left 31 people injured and submerged more than 30,000 houses, as well as damaging infrastructure and crops.

Floods and landslides have killed at least 54 people in Vietnam and another 39 are missing after a tropical depression hit the country earlier this week, in one of its worst natural disasters in years, officials said.

Heavy rain in the central and northern regions disrupted transport in some areas, hampering rescue efforts.

The storm, which hit central Vietnam on Tuesday, left 31 people injured, submerged more than 30,000 houses, and damaged infrastructure and crops, the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a statement on Friday.

Residents walk along a muddy road which was damaged by a landslide in Vietnam
Residents walk along a muddy road which was damaged by a landslide in Vietnam (Huu Quyet/Vietnam News Agency via AP)

Disaster official Nguyen Thi Lien, from northern Yen Bai province, where six people died from the floods, said 580 soldiers and police and more than 2,000 residents have been mobilised to search for 16 others still missing in the province.

“Transportation to and from the southern district of Tram Tau was cut off by landslides and floods, making it impossible to send additional search forces to look for six people still missing there,” said Mr Lien, adding that search operations in the area are relying on local military, police and villagers.

Another tropical depression has been upgraded to a tropical storm, Khanun, which swept through the Philippines’ northern island of Luzon early on Friday and is moving in the South China Sea towards Vietnam, according to national weather forecasters.

The storm could bring more rain and misery to the central and northern regions already soaked by rain and floodwater.


Vietnam is ranked the seventh most disaster-prone country in the world, and disasters over the past two decades have caused more than 13,000 deaths and property damage in excess of 6.4 billion US dollars (£4.8 billion), according to Achim Fock, acting country director for the World Bank in Vietnam.

Speaking at a conference in Hanoi on Friday marking International Day for Disaster Reduction, Mr Fock said it is time for Vietnam to prepare seriously to reduce its climatic vulnerability.

“If Vietnam does not invest in disaster resilience today, it misses an opportunity for social, economic and environmental progress that will have impacts for years to come,” he said, according to a copy of the speech provided by the World Bank.

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