Landslides and floods triggered by heavy rain over the past four days in Vietnam's northern and central regions have left 37 local people dead and 40 others missing, the country's Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said on Thursday. The disasters injured 21 people and destroyed or damaged more than 1 000 houses, submerged another 16 740 homes and damaged infrastructure and crops in six central and northern provinces, the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a statement on Thursday.
The northern Yen Bai and Hoa Binh provinces have been particularly hard hit, with reports of widespread inundation and deadly landslides, and homes washed away. "More than 250 soldiers, police, militiamen and villagers have been mobilised for the search", disaster official Tran Anh Tuan said. "But they are facing difficulties because of the huge volume of soil, mud and rocks that buried the houses". Also, adding another tropical depression was expected to hit the Philippines on Thursday evening and could strengthen to a tropical storm when it moves to the South China Sea. Rains of up to 50cm were reported over the three-day period until Wednesday in some parts of central and northern regions.
Vietnam is prone to floods and storms which kill hundreds of people each year.