Worst floods in years hit Vietnam, death toll rises to 54 as another storm approaches

Worst floods in years hit Vietnam, death toll rises to 54 as another storm approaches

The death toll caused by the latest round of severe flooding across central and northern Vietnam has risen to 54 and the number of missing to 39, country's disaster agency said Friday, October 13. This is the fourth wave of severe flooding to hit Vietnam in several months and the end of the misery is still not over as another storm is on the way and expected to hit Vietnam's central regions late October 16 or early on the 17th (UTC).

The floods that hit Vietnam this week starting on Monday, October 9 after Tropical Depression 23 made landfall are the worst in years, officials said. The death toll has risen to 54 and there are now 39 people missing. 

Nineteen people from four neighboring households in Hoa Binh Province were buried alive after a landslide struck around 01:00 local time Thursday, October 12, but only nine bodies have been found, the disaster agency said.

There are at least 317 homes destroyed in floods and landslides and more than 34 000 submerged or damaged. More than 200 000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

In addition, more than 22 000 ha (54 300 acres) of agricultural land (mostly rice) have also been damaged and around 180 000 animals killed or washed away.

Over a three-day period (Monday - Wednesday), some parts of central and northern Vietnam recorded up to 500 mm (19.7 inches) of rain.

As reported by Reuters, the neighboring Thailand was also badly hit with 7 of their 77 provinces affected. More than 480 000 ha (1.2 million acres) of agricultural land have been affected, Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said.

While search and rescue efforts in Vietnam are in progress and country is still battling floods, forecasters warn another tropical cyclone is approaching and will hit the country within just a couple of days.

Tropical Storm Khanun forecast track on October 13, 2017

Tropical Storm "Khanun" passed over the northern Philippines on October 12 and is now heading toward Hainan, China where landfall is expected on Sunday, October 15.

The storm is expected to hit Vietnam late October 16 or early October 17 (UTC) with heavy rain and powerful winds, unleashing yet another wave of floods.

Natural disasters in Vietnam this year have left nearly 200 people dead or missing.

Featured image: Worst floods in years hit Vietnam - October 2017. Credit: AFP

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