102 dead, 5 million affected by ‘catastrophic floods’ in Vietnam

Severe floods and landslides triggered in Vietnam have left at least 102 people dead or missing and “swamped” five million, according to an aid agency.

Two storms, Linfa and Nangka brought six times the average rainfall in the first two weeks of October.

The floodwaters have so far left at least 178,000 homes submerged, food crops have been destroyed and nearly 700,000 poultry and livestock have been killed or swept away.

Worst hit is Hue province, 700km away from capital, Hanoi. Police and soldiers have been using canoes and boats in Ha Tinh city to reach the most flooded areas to evacuate people and move property to safety.

In Quang Binh province, 130km away, flood water continues to rise, swallowing up entire houses or burying them beneath landslides. 3,000 tonnes of rock and soil came crashing down on homes and roads.

Landslides buried a military barracks at Quang Trị in the early hours of Sunday, killing 22 soldiers and officers.

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) said five million people have been impacted by the “catastrophic floods”, adding that hundreds of thousands were in urgent need of emergency shelter, safe drinking water and food to prevent a larger humanitarian crisis.

“These floods are the last straw and will push millions of people further towards the brink of poverty,” Red Cross official Christopher Rassi said.

The IFRC added that it had provided about US$ 325,000 in aid relief so far.

Vietnam’s weather agency said it expected tropical storm Saudel to arrive in its central region on Saturday, bringing more intense rains that could exacerbate its worst flooding in years.