Central Vietnam floods, landslides leave 84 dead, 38 missing

VOV.VN - Flash floods and landslides triggered by downpours in the central region have claimed 84 lives and left 38 others missing, according to Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

In addition, torrential rainfall submerged more than 52,930 houses, destroyed and swept away 106,616 hectares of subsidiary crops, alongside over 461,620 cattle and poultry. Rescuers have so far evacuated over 11,575 out of 35,787 local peoples from the northern province of Quang Binh to Thua Thien Hue from dangerous areas to safer ground.

On the evening of October 18, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a decision to assign the Ministry of Finance to provide free of charge 4,000 tons of rice from the national reserve to the central provinces, including Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam with 1,000 tons each, in an effort to support poverty relief for local people in areas hard hit by natural disasters.

He also issued a dispatch calling for extra efforts to intensify rescue work and settlement of consequences of landslides in the central provinces of Thua Thien – Hue and Quang Tri.

In his dispatch, the Government chief stressed that severe floods and landslides caused by heavy rain over the past month in the central and Central Highlands regions, particularly Thua Thien – Hue and Quang Tri provinces, claimed several lives and left dozens of other missing.

The landslides early this week killed 13 officials and soldiers at Ranger Station 67, and two construction workers and left 15 others missing at Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in Thua Thien – Hue province. Moreover, a landslide occurred early October 18 in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province, which buried 22 officers and soldiers of Defence – Economic Division 337 under Military Region 4, he added.

PM Phuc extended his deepest condolences to the families of the officials and soldiers sacrificed during their rescue operations, as well as his sympathy to the families of those who are still missing.

Downpours are forecast to continue in the coming days, posing a high risk of landslides and flash floods in the central and Central Highlands regions. To protect the life and properties of residents, the PM asked the Ministry of Defence, the National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue to instruct Military Region 4 and relevant units to mobilise all resources and equipment to search and rescue workers who lost contact at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant and soldiers buried by a landslide in Huong Hoa district, while ensuring safety for rescue forces.

The ministries of Transport and Public Security and the People’s Committees of Thua Thien – Hue and Quang Tri were ordered to mobilise all equipment and resources to coordinate efforts with the Ministry of Defence and Military Region 4 to assist the rescue work in the landslide scenes.

Meanwhile, localities were also asked to promptly assist state policy beneficiaries, and families of natural disaster victims, as well as those affected by natural disasters.

The Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control is responsible for keeping a close watch on flood developments in order to take response measures.

Also the same day, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung and his working delegation made a field trip to the central province of Quang Tri to instruct the settlement of the consequences of floods.

Dung conveyed PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s condolences to the people in the central region in general and to those in Quang Tri in particular, especially the relatives of the flood victims.

He praised the efforts made by escue forces and asked them to prioritise searching and rescuers buried by a landslide in Huong Hoa district.

As of 4:45 pm of October 18, 14 bodies of 22 soldiers buried by a landslide earlier the same day in Huong Hoa district, the central province of Quang Tri had been found.

Search and rescue forces are working to deal with landslide-hit areas along the road running to the landslide site in Huong Phung commune of Huong Hoa district. The road is set to be cleared on October 19 morning, making it possible for competent agencies to bring the victims to a local hospital.

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