15 dead in Vietnam flash floods, landslides

A flood-damaged road in Lai Chau province, Vietnam, on Sunday. At least 12 people were still missing yesterday after weekend floods in the country's mountainous north, and hundreds of police and soldiers have been deployed to help clean-up efforts.
A flood-damaged road in Lai Chau province, Vietnam, on Sunday. At least 12 people were still missing yesterday after weekend floods in the country's mountainous north, and hundreds of police and soldiers have been deployed to help clean-up efforts.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HANOI • Flash floods and landslides have killed 15 people in Vietnam's mountainous north, officials said, after storms ravaged homes and wiped out crops and infrastructure.

At least 12 people were still missing yesterday after the weekend floods, and hundreds of police and soldiers have been deployed to help clean-up efforts.

Vietnam is frequently lashed by harsh weather in the rainy season between June and November.

The latest storm hit several northern provinces, littering the area with piles of rubble and trees as residents scrambled to clean up their destroyed homes.

"Three died when their houses collapsed in Ha Giang province, while 12 others were swept away by flash floods, landslides and collapsed houses in Lai Chau province," the national committee on disaster control said yesterday.

It said the storm caused US$6.1 million (S$8.3 million) in damage in the region.

One fish farmer said that she lost everything when floods swept through her property and destroyed her pond worth some US$300,000.

"We are now deep in debt. All our fish were lost in the flash floods. We don't know what to do now," Ms Do Thi Huong told AFP from Lai Chau province.

Several remote communities were still cut off yesterday after rocks and mud blocked roads in the area.

This is the first major weather incident of the year for Vietnam, which is still reeling after a deadly series of disasters last year.

Natural disasters killed 389 people and caused US$2.6 billion in damage last year, according to official statistics.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2018, with the headline '15 dead in Vietnam flash floods, landslides'. Print Edition | Subscribe