Efforts underway in Vietnam for recovery after floods kill 132

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Authorities in central Vietnam have mobilised all available forces to help flood victims repair and clean houses and schools and fix damaged roads in areas affected by landslides. AFP

Authorities in Vietnam’s central provinces have mobilised all available forces to help flood victims recover, while another storm has formed in the East Sea which is expected to bring more rain in the coming days.

Data from the National Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control shows that as of Monday, 132 people were killed and 27 others were still missing due to the floods and landslides in the central region.

Floods have also destroyed nearly 7,000ha of crops, swept away over 685,000 domestic fowls and damaged or submerged many national highways in central localities.

At a meeting held in Hanoi on Tuesday morning, National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control’s Standing Office deputy chief Vu Xuan Thanh urged relevant agencies and authorities of localities to continue carrying out rescue measures and help local people recover after the flood and soon resume their lives.

Authorities of central localities have mobilised all available forces to help flood victims repair and clean houses, schools, fix damaged roads and areas affected by landslides.

At the meeting, Thanh said a low tropical pressure system had developed into a storm on Tuesday morning. The storm, Saudel, was 330km east of the Luzon Island of the Philippines at 7am (0000 GMT) on Tuesday.

It is moving in the west and northwestern direction at a speed of 20-25km/h and was forecast to enter the East Sea on Wednesday. The storm is expected to be 740km off the east and southeast of Hoang Sa Island.

Thanh urged relevant agencies and localities to keep a close watch over the development of the storm, promptly inform owners of vessels operating offshore and prepare measures to cope with the storm.

Meanwhile, floodwaters in rivers in central provinces are receding, leaving high risks of erosion, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Central provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai on Tuesday experienced rainfall of 80-150mm, while Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces had very heavy rain with rainfall of 300mm or even 600mm.

Due to prolonged heavy rains, the water level in different rivers in the central region such as the Ngan Sau, Gianh, Kien Giang and Bo have fluctuated around the second warning level.

It is forecast that central areas face a very high risk of landslides in mountainous districts.

Wide-scale flooding will continue to be seen in urban areas of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces. Natural disaster risks caused by floods, flash floods and landslides are at the third warning level.

By Tuesday, many places in Ha Tinh province were still isolated by flooding.

Thousands of households in Cam Xuyen and Thach Ha districts and Ha Tinh city were submerged.

A Vietnam News Agency correspondent observed a great number of vehicles stuck for many hours because Thach Ha and Cam Xuyen districts were flooded, preventing vehicles from moving.

Nguyen Van Sau, deputy chairman of the Thach Ha District People’s Committee, said the district assigned all canoes and boats to deeply flooded places to provide local residents with food and not let them suffer from hunger and cold.

Local authorities in Ha Tinh province plan to evacuate more than 45,000 residents living downstream of Ke Go reservoir as the water level is rising.

Reservoir levels have been almost a metre higher than normal due to prolonged torrential rain. While facing water flow from upstream, the Ke Go reservoir has released water at 900 cubic metres per second since Monday morning.

By Tuesday, the Hanoi Fatherland Front Committee received donations from 55 organisations with total money of more than 22 billion dong ($946,000) and other essential goods.