At least 90 dead in Vietnam floods: local officials
Wed, Nov 04, 2009
HANOI - At least 90 people have been killed in flooding in central Vietnam sparked by Tropical Storm Mirinae, which slammed into the country this week after pummelling the Philippines, officials said Wednesday.
A further 22 people were reported missing after the storm struck on Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving more than 200,000 people stranded, according to regional officials who asked not to be named and local reports.
Television pictures from the provinces of Phu Yen and Gia Lai, which were among the worst hit regions along with Binh Dinh, showed rescuers in boats helping desperate residents escape some of the worst flooding there in decades.
Water in places reached up to the rooftops of buildings, where some residents had sought refuge. The VTV channel reported that 200,000 people were stranded in Binh Dinh province alone.
"It is the most devastating flooding in more than 30 years in Phu Yen," the national disaster committee said in a statement, after part of the province's system of dykes was overwhelmed.
Two thousand soldiers had been deployed to help with the rescue effort.
The national disaster committee said Mirinae, which hit the Philippines as a deadly typhoon at the weekend, had destroyed 700 homes and damaged more than 13,000 others when it hit Vietnam's central coastal areas on Monday.
Some 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) of farmland had been ruined or were covered in floodwater, the committee said.
More than 50,000 people fled the coastal provinces before the storm, which battered the Philippines as a typhoon, was downgraded to a tropical depression and made landfall late on Monday.
Mirinae also killed two people in Vietnam's neighbour Cambodia and left 19 people dead and three missing in the Philippines, where almost 16,000 people were still in evacuation centres.
Vietnam and the Philippines are frequently hit by tropical storms and flooding, with both hit hard by Typhoon Ketsana in September.
Ketsana caused one of Vietnam's worst disasters in recent years, leaving more than 170 dead and hundreds injured.
It caused devastating floods, inundating hundreds of thousands of homes and damaged tens of thousands of hectares of rice and other crops.