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Oct 20, 2020 / 18:12

Historic flooding in central Vietnam: 102 dead and 26 missing

Vietnam's three central provinces with the highest loss of lives are Quang Tri with 48 deaths, Thua Thien-Hue with 27 and Quang Nam with 11.

Heavy floods in central Vietnam have left 102 people dead and 26 missing as of October 19 night, Kinh Te & Do Thi reported, citing the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

The committee said that the three provinces with the highest loss of lives are Quang Tri with 48 deaths, Thua Thien-Hue with 27 and Quang Nam with 11.

As of 4:00pm of October 19, 166,780 houses had been submerged under water in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces, other 28,900 households with 90,900 residents had been relocated.

 A flooded street in Ha Tinh province on October 19, 2020. Photo: Le Hoang

Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that flooding is caused by unprecedented heavy rains which hit the central region in the past two weeks.

Inundation took place on a large scale, peaking on October 12 and 18, with 260,322 inundated houses in six provinces from Quang Binh to Quang Nam, Minister Cuong said, adding that it is necessary to focus on ensuring the safety of the reservoirs and evacuating the flooded and dangerous areas.

Mai Van Minh, director of Quang Binh province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said flood is subsiding quite slowly on October 19 afternoon.

At 4:00pm yesterday, water levels in the Kien Giang river in Le Thuy district exceeded the flood danger critical level No.3 (2.7 meters) by 2.18 m, 0.97m higher than the historic flooding peak in 1979.

National Highway 1A running through Quang Binh province and one part linking to the Ho Chi Minh Highway are totally submerged.

Heavy rain expected to last until October 21

According to the National Center for Meteorological and Hydrological Forecasting, the heavy downpours are likely to continue until October 21.

The center said that Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces are expected to experience heavy and even torrential rainfall, and some areas might suffer precipitation from 350-500mm, some places over 500mm. In Nghe An, the precipitation might reach 100-200 mm.

 Houses in Thua Thien-Hue provinces are flooded. Photo: Tran Mai

Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces will also suffer torrential rain until October 21, with precipitation likely to reach 150-250 mm.

In the next hours, water level on the Ngan Sau river in Ha Tinh province, rivers in Quang Binh continue to rise, while in rivers from Quang Tri to Quang Nam, water is gradually subsiding.

The center stressed that heavy rain will be prolonged and expanding to northern provinces. Besides, as a tropical depression has been formed near the East Sea, heavy rain will likely continue to affect the central region this weekend.

PM decides to support each flood-hit province US$4.31 million and 1,000 tons of rice

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on October 19 decided to give each flood-hit province VND100 billion (US$4.31 million) and 1,000 tons of rice.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, PM Phuc urged competent forces to make greater efforts in rescue operations while ensuring safety, as the central region has been ravaged by historic floods.

He asked the natural resources and environment sector, particularly the hydro-meteorology agency, to better the forecasting work in order to put forth flexible response scenarios.

The PM called for the involvement of the entire political system, especially young people, women, relevant forces, donors and residents who are not affected by the natural disasters to join hands in these efforts.

The government leader also ordered securing the safety of dams and reservoirs, saying suitable response plans and necessary equipment should be ready to save people and handle emerging issues.