Rain stops in Vietnam but flood toll rises to 92

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Pumps ran nonstop in the Vietnamese capital Wednesday to clear water following the city’s worst rainfall in 35 years, in storms that sparked flooding across large sections of the country and left 92 people dead.

Life in metropolitan Hanoi was slowly returning to normal after a halt in the rains, with floodwaters receding and residents cleaning up their homes.

Another seven bodies were found in northern Vietnam, including two more in the capital, bringing the death toll in Hanoi to 22 and the overall toll to 92, authorities said.

Forecasters said rain over the weekend was the heaviest Hanoi has experienced in 35 years. At the height of the flooding, more than 100 Hanoi neighborhoods were under at least a foot of water, but by Wednesday only five neighborhoods were still submerged, said Nguyen Anh Tu of the city’s drainage company.

“Our main pump station is running 24 hours a day, pumping 4 million cubic meters (141 million cubic feet) of excess water a day,” he said. “We hope the water will recede completely from metropolitan Hanoi in the next two days.”

Forecasters said people living in Hanoi can expect scattered showers in the coming days.

Hanoi residents meanwhile continued to clear out the mud, debris and garbage that was washed into their homes by the floods.

Nguyen Van Hai, 34, and his family of three moved back to their home Wednesday after spending five days with his in-laws. He had taken the day off the clean his house.

“Our first floor is covered with 10 centimeters (4 inches) of mud,” he said. “It’s so smelly.”

More than 37,000 evacuees in two rural districts of Hanoi cannot yet return to their homes, disaster officials said.

Le Thi Kim Thuy, a disaster official in Hanoi’s My Duc District, said more than 12,000 people there abandoned homes when the rain started last Thursday.

“Their homes are still up to three feet (one meter) under water,” Thuy said. “They is a shortage of everything from food to water.”

In the neighboring district of Chuong My, the homes of more than 25,000 villagers remained submerged, disaster official Nguyen Dung Trung said.

Trung said the flood water level had dropped only a few inches over the past two days and that four villages remained surrounded by water and were accessible only by boat.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hxIa8SlpURJY2Ei0bTV5vxvwUkZAD948OQJO0

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