Flood death toll reaches 37 in northern, central regions

Thursday, 2017-10-12 03:48:43
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Functional forces are urgently looking for victims that remain missing due to a landslide in Tan Lac district, Hoa Binh province on October 12. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – A total of 77 people in the northern and central provinces were reported as dead or missing, as of the morning of October 12, during widespread floods caused by the torrential rains that hit the localities over the past three days.

>>> Floods cause severe damage in northern and central localities

>>> PM urges emergency response to floods and dam safety

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the death toll has now reached 37, while 40 others are still missing.

Particularly, a landslide buried four houses and 18 people in the early morning in Phu Cuong commune, Tan Lac district, in the northern province of Hoa Binh. Hundreds of people and soldiers have been mobilised in order to search for the victims under the mass of soil. So far nine bodies have been found.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and provincial officials arrived at the scene to supervise the search for the victims. At the scene, he requested that the functional forces use all means necessary to quickly search for the missing victims. Local authorities were urged to coordinate with the relevant agencies and families to provide thoughtful care to the deceased.

Hoa Binh province has also relocated more than 300 households in the downstream areas of Chau Me and Hoa Binh Lakes, as well as several lowland homes at risk of landslides. After opening eight consecutive sluice gates, as of 7:30 am this morning, Hoa Binh Reservoir closed five, while continuing to discharge flood water through the three bottom gates.

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung and Hoa Binh leaders inspect and direct the search for victims in a landslide in Phu Cuong commune, Tan Lac district, October 12. (Credit: NDO)

In the face of abnormal and serious flooding over the past few days, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc cancelled a scheduled meeting with voters in Hai Phong city in order to travel to the northern province of Ninh Binh to check on the local dykes this morning.

The PM made an inspection of the Hoang Long River dyke which protects Ninh Binh city and National Highway 1A from the swollen river. Water levels in the Hoang Long River in Nho Quan and Gia Vien districts reached 5.3m, higher than the record flood level in 1985.

Due to the influence of the tropical low pressure circulation, in Gia Vien and adjacent areas, there were heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorms from the night of October 9 to October 11. Total rainfall measured up to over 400 mm, causing large scale floods that inundated 1,700 ha of rice, 153.7 ha of vegetable crops and 520 ha of aquaculture. Over 850 houses are partly submerged in deep water.

According to Dinh Chung Phung, Vice Chairman of the Ninh Binh province People’s Committee and Deputy Head of the provincial Steering Board for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue, the provincial authorities are considering allowing flood water to overflow certain sections of the dyke in order to prevent the dyke from breaking.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc on a boat, on Hoang Long River, monitoring the floods on October 12. (Credit: VGP)

PM Phuc asked Ninh Binh to devise plans for rescue operations, the evacuation of residents and flood discharge. The province was also urged to remain vigilant and keep a close watch on the dykes, dams and reservoirs in the locality.

Earlier on the evening of October 11, Ninh Binh issued an evacuation order for a number of communes in Nho Quan and Gia Vien districts, with more than 3,000 households and 200,000 people displaced to higher ground.

Up until noon today, the provincial road No. 174 from Van Chan district to Tram Tau district in Yen Bai province remained blocked by floods, isolating the latter upland district. Many households in Nghia Lo town, especially in Phu Thanh ward, are still submerged in water.

Mountainous northern provinces and part of the central region have been submerged by the widespread floods caused by torrential rains from October 10 to 12.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, at present, a tropical depression off the Luzon Island, in the Philippines is moving at 20-25kph towards the East Sea and will likely strengthen into a storm in the next 24 hours.

By 1pm on October 13, the storm centre is forecast to at approximately 18.2 degrees north latitude and 119.5 degrees east latitude, around 800 km east-northeast off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands. The strongest wind in the area near the centre of the storm is blowing at 60-75kph.

Soldiers help local people overcome the consequences of the natural disasters in Nghia Lo town, Yen Bai province. (Credit: NDO)

Floods inundate the railway in Thanh Hoa province. (Credit: NDO)