Floods and Landslides Ravage Northern Provinces of Vietnam

LAI CHÂU Province, Vietnam — Heavy rain over the weekend (23/24 June) has resulted in deadly flash floods and landslides in many northern mountainous provinces.

At least three people have died, three are missing and five others have been injured in Lai Châu Province, according to provincial authorities.

Director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hà Văn Um said the damage reached its peak at 2pm yesterday in the districts of Than Uyên and Mường Tè.

More than 40ha of rice and others crops were completely destroyed by floods in the two districts, said the official.

A report from the provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention, Search and Rescue said rains and floods had damaged many roads and caused traffic jams on national roads 4D and 12, and landslides halted traffic in Tam Dương District, the report said.

Floods also swept away a bridge in Than Uyên District, and damaged two irrigation plants in Mường Tè District as well as rice and crops, with total damage initially estimated at more than VNĐ20 billion (US$873,000).

The committee said it was co-ordinating with local authorities to conduct search and rescue operations and tackle the aftermath of the rains and floods.

In Lào Cai Province, traffic on national highway 279 from Văn Bàn District to Than Uyên District in Lai Châu Province was stuck due to landslides and flash floods over the weekend.

Chairman of Văn Bàn District People’s Committee, Phan Trung Bá, revealed no casualties had been reported as of 11am yesterday, but dozens of houses and about 30ha of rice had been destroyed by the floods.

Bá said local people were still struggling to recover.

He said traffic was unlikely to return to normal any time soon because of damage caused by several landslides.

Authorities in Điện Biên Province, particularly in the districts of Mường Nhé, Nậm Pồ, Mường Chà, Tủa Chùa, Tuần Giáo, and Mường Lay Town, have issued flood and landslide warnings.

Điện Biên Province’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster, Search and Rescue reported a rapid increase in water levels and warned local people not to venture near rivers.

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