Weather woes

Flooding and landslides hit Vietnam and Philippines

Vietnamese officials say 20 people are dead after Tropical storm Son Tinh made landfall last week in the country's north.
A man on the rooftop of his flooded house after heavy rainfall in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam, yesterday. Flash floods in Vietnam have claimed at least 19 lives, the government said.
A man on the rooftop of his flooded house after heavy rainfall in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam, yesterday. Flash floods in Vietnam have claimed at least 19 lives, the government said.PHOTO: REUTERS

With the summer monsoon in full swing across Asia, heavy rain and extreme temperatures are wreaking havoc in Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and China.

HANOI • Heavy rain brought about by tropical storms have claimed more than 20 lives in Vietnam and the Philippines, while India and Myanmar are bracing for more rain in the coming days.

Flash floods in Vietnam have now claimed at least 19 lives, the government said yesterday, as residents in affected areas sought safety in higher ground. An additional 13 people were unaccounted for.

Boasting a long coastline, tropical Vietnam is battered by floods and storms every year, with hundreds of lives lost from the annual monsoon barrage.

The remnants of Typhoon Son Tinh, now a tropical depression, made landfall last Wednesday night, the third tropical storm to hit Vietnam since the start of the year.

Floods and landslide from heavy rain have ranged far and wide and impacted rural and urban areas, including the capital Hanoi.

State-controlled VNExpress news site reported last Saturday that residents in Chuong My district on the outskirts of Hanoi were asked to leave their homes and get to higher ground for fear of heavy floods.

"We must be active in moving our furniture out of homes. From last year's experience, we did not have time to run," a local resident was quoted as saying.

Published photos showed homeowners in plastic raincoats moving bags of goods and livestock.

"My house is in a very low location so I have to move all the rice to higher places," resident Nguyen Duy Dong told VNExpress.

"Since the afternoon, we have moved more than one tonne of rice."

  • 110,000 Number of hectares of crops inundated in Vietnam.

    700,000 Number of people affected by days of heavy rain in the Philippines.

The amount of land under siege has also spiked, with over 15,000 houses damaged or destroyed and more than 110,000ha of crops inundated. Several roads have also disappeared under the water.

Many countries in the region experience their rainy season between June and November.

In the Philippines, tropical depression Josie is on its way out of the country but will continue to induce heavy rain over the western sections of Luzon and Visayas today.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration urged the public, especially those living near river channels and in low-lying and mountainous areas, to be on alert for possible flash flood or landslide.

At least five people have died and more than 700,000 were affected by days of heavy rain, which caused flooding and landslides, the Philippine authorities said yesterday.

At least three tropical cyclones battered the Philippines in recent weeks. Josie is the Philippines' 10th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.

The monsoon season is also under way across South Asia, with India bearing the brunt.

With a low-pressure area developing into a depression over the Bay of Bengal, the rain intensity may pick up in the next two days after a period of light rain in the past few days.

Since the start of the monsoon rains, hundreds have lost their lives in floods and landslides across India, which accounts for one-fifth of global deaths due to floods.

Myanmar's coastal areas could also be hit by heavy rain as rain clouds from the storm are forecast to pass middle areas of Myanmar and reach Bangladesh, where more than half a million Rohingya are in refugee camps in low-lying areas.

Meanwhile, rescue activities are ongoing in western Japan two weeks after floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain killed more than 200 people.

There are still about 4,500 people living in emergency shelters and the authorities are considering housing the displaced people on a cruise ship, reported the Japan Times.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2018, with the headline 'Flooding and landslides hit Vietnam and Philippines'. Print Edition | Subscribe