Death Toll From Landslides in Vietnam Reaches 60


Some villages in Vietnam are still isolated by landslides and destroyed bridges after a tropical depression last week that has become one of the country's worst natural disasters in years.

Nineteen people from four neighbouring households in Hoa Binh were buried alive early on Thursday after a midnight landslide, but only nine bodies have been found, the disaster agency said in a report.

The storm, which hit central Vietnam on Tuesday, also injured 31 people, submerged more than 30,000 houses, and damaged infrastructure and crops, the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a statement Friday.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has warned that more landslides could hit the country's mountainous central and northern regions, as the land had absorbed too much water.

Rescue teams including three hundred army, police and militia personnel are searching for the missing people.

"Up to 700 millimetres of rain had fallen as the result of a tropical depression over the previous five days in central and northern Vietnam".

According to government statistics, tropical storms and floods killed 264 people in 2016 and caused losses worth $1.75 billion.

"Authorities have instructed 75,000 fishing boats with over 300,000 fishermen to dock at ports or move out of unsafe areas in the South China Sea, " the disaster prevention committee said.

Floods have also affected seven of 77 provinces in Thailand, Vietnam's neighbour to the west, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said.