Death toll rises in central Vietnam post floods

Hanoi – A week of heavy rains and floods have left 20 people dead and thousands in central Vietnam without food and water, Vietnam’s main disaster agency reported Friday. “Heavy rains have lessened but the water levels in the rivers remain high,” said Dam Vinh Loi, Deputy Head of the Committee for Flood and Storm Control in Binh Dinh province. “We are trying our best to prevent some dikes from breaking.”

Loi said about 20,000 people are in need of emergency assistance. The greatest danger now is the threat of water-borne diseases because fresh water resources have been contaminated.

Authorities in four provinces in central Vietnam, say the damage was caused by Tropical Storm Noul, which struck the country last week. Several people died in landslides triggered by the heavy rains; others died from drowning.

Among the dead, was a schoolteacher who was buried in a landslide on Thursday as she traveled back home from school in Quang Ngai province. More than 50 rescuers worked to find her. Huynh Thi Kim Yen’s body was discovered on Friday and returned to her family members.

“Our forces are trying to clear the road,” said Phan Van On, head of the Committee for Flood and Storm Control in Quang Ngai province. “Rescue efforts were difficult because of the heavy rains. Fortunately, the rains are finally easing up.”

More rains are expected in the next few days, however, when a new tropical storm is expected to form over the South China sea, according to the central Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting Center in Hanoi. Winds could be as high as 120 kilometres per hour.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/243771,death-toll-rises-in-central-vietnam-post-floods.html

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Floods kill 13 in central Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam: Officials say floods and landslides triggered by several days of heavy rain have killed 13 people in central Vietnam this week.

Disaster official Le Viet Binh of Quang Ngai province says rains have stopped but water levels remained very high Friday, hindering rescue efforts. Floods and landslides have claimed four lives in the province.

“We have mobilized militiamen and police to rush food aid and medicine to one isolated district,” Binh says.

Binh Dinh province is the worst-hit, with five people being drowned, according to the provincial Web site.

Vietnam Airlines says dozens of flights to the seaside city of Nha Trang have been canceled.

Vietnam is prone to floods and storms that kill hundreds of people each year.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/28/asia/AS-Vietnam-Flooding.php

Central Vietnam floods peak, toll rises to 21

HANOI — Heavy rains from a storm in central Vietnam have killed nine people, including three children, bringing the toll since late last week to 21, although the flood levels have peaked, the government said on Thursday.

Residents carry a motorcycle along a flooded road caused by a storm in Vietnam’s southern Phu Yen province November 17, 2008. A tropical storm hit central Vietnam on Monday, threatening severe floods, landslides and substantial damage to coffee output from the world’s second-largest producer of the crop. [Agencies]

Disaster reports from six central provinces hit by the storm that landed on Monday said more than 5,000 hectares of rice paddy had been destroyed, a relatively small area, but the country’s coffee crop was safe.

Several hundred families in Binh Dinh province were forced to flee their homes because of floods while landslides from heavy rains had blocked traffic in mountainous areas in Quang Ngai province, state-run Voice of Vietnam radio said.

Tropical Storm Noul, the 10th tracked by the Southeast Asian country this year, did not cause damage on the scale predicted by the government. Storms kill several hundred people each year in Vietnam.

Coffee and rice production, in which Vietnam ranks second in the world, were not affected as the storm weakened before it reached the Central Highlands coffee belt.

The Mekong Delta, the country’s main rice-growing region, lies 350 km (220 miles) south of the flood-hit area, and its latest rice crop had already been harvested.

Soldiers wade along a flooded road caused by a storm in Vietnam’s southern Ninh Thuan province November 17, 2008. A tropical storm hit central Vietnam on Monday, threatening severe floods, landslides and substantial damage to coffee output from the world’s second-largest producer of the crop. Tropical Storm Noul, with winds of 88 kph (55 mph), made landfall around the beach resort of Nha Trang late on Monday and weakened to a tropical depression, state radio said. [Agencies]

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2008-11/20/content_7223817.htm

Tropical storm threatens southern Vietnam

Hanoi – Heavy rains that have caused 12 deaths in Vietnam’s southern and central regions are making way for a tropical storm expected to hit the Mekong Delta provinces Tuesday, disaster officials said Monday. Phan Phu Chinh of the Central Committee for Storm and Flood Control said that as of Monday morning, floods had killed 12 people and left one missing in south-central Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces. Thousands of homes have been submerged.

Chinh said the central provinces saw heavy rain between November 13 and 16. By Monday, heavy rains ceased, but rivers continued to rise.

The bodies of three children washed away by floods were found Sunday in Khanh Hoa province. The floods cut off railroads and highways connecting southern and central Vietnam.

Authorities Monday morning reported Tropical Storm Noul was expected to make landfall Tuesday in the country’s central region and the Mekong River delta. The storm was expected to pack winds of 62 to 88 kilometres per hour.

Vietnamese media reported Sunday that Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung had urged provinces to move people to higher ground and to call home thousands of fishing boats.

Schools in storm stricken areas will close for several days starting Tuesday. Boats have been banned from operating on some rivers.

Local media reported the country’s border guards had managed to contact just 2,000 out of 18,000 vessels operating in the South China sea to warn them of the storm.

Vietnam disaster centres and local media said floods had submerged thousands of homes in Ho Chi Minh City over the weekend.

Floods are a common occurrence in Vietnam and kill hundreds of people every year.

According to Vietnamese authorities, floods between October 31 and November 6 triggered by heavy rains in the country’s north and centre killed 59 people and inundated the capital, Hanoi. Other media put the number of deaths as high as 94.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/241934,tropical-storm-threatens-southern-vietnam.html

Vietnam aims for quick full recovery from historic floods

Hanoi was the worst-hit locality during the historic flooding late last month. At least 22 people were reported dead or missing in the wake of the floods.

Hanoi was the worst-hit locality during the historic flooding late last month. At least 22 people were reported dead or missing in the wake of the floods.

Vietnam’s northern and north-central provinces have been asked to marshal all forces to facilitate a swift recovery from the floods earlier this month that caused nearly VND8 trillion (US$472 million) in losses.

“We have to mobilize all necessary resources to stabilize residents’ lives and resume production,” Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung told an online forum on the issue Friday, which was attended by relevant authorities and officials from 18 cities and provinces.

Hung instructed concerned ministries to continue working on sending relief, preventing diseases, providing housing to affected residents, and resuming schools, hospitals and agricultural production.

He also instructed ministry and provincial officials to improve water drainage and irrigating systems and adapt production methods in line with possible disaster conditions.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Friday reported that floods, up till Wednesday, have damaged 30,000 hectares of rice paddies, 210,000 hectares of other crops, 10,000 hectares of fruits and 40,000 hectares of fisheries, with 200,000 livestock having been swept away.

Thousands of houses are still under water and infrastructure has been seriously damaged in many areas, the ministry reported, adding that continued flooding would cause more losses with the winter cultivating season only 15 days away.

In Hanoi, 18,000 hectares were still inundated, including 26 residential areas with 8,700 households, with some areas still under 1.2 meter of water, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Trinh Duy Hung said. The city is projected to spend VND800 billion ($47.2 million) total for relief efforts.

Many other provinces in the Red River Delta also reported that floods have seriously damaged water drainage systems and thousands of households were facing starvation.

Some provinces have requested the government to supply three months worth of rice, estimated to be around 8,400 tons, to feed households in flooded areas. The bill for recovery works is estimated to be some VND1.45 trillion ($85.6 million).

The session Friday also discussed renovating the drainage systems around the Red River Delta.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said VND2.49 trillion ($146.9 million) is needed to construct replacement and additional water drainage systems in the delta over the next two years.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=43760

Agriculture production still paralyzed after flood

VietNamNet Bridge – Vegetables and other crops have been lost because of the flood. Farms in the suburb areas of Hanoi have become idle as poultry and animals have either been killed, or bargained away by the owners. The agriculture production remains paralyzed ten days after the flood.

The field without farmers

The inundated field in Ung Hoa district in Hanoi

Rice and vegetable fields in Thanh Oai, Ung Hoa and Hoai Duc districts, which are located along the Highway No. 21, were seen 30-50 cm under water on November 9. From a distance, one would only see a vast sea, while he could not tell the difference if it was a rice field, a vegetable field, a pond, or a lake.

Van Con and Song Phuong, the vegetable granaries in Hoai Duc district, have become empty.

Showing the basket of damaged cabbage, Bui Thi Yen in Van Con commune related that in the days of heavy rain, she and her husband still had to work in the vegetable field, as she feared that the heavy rain would damage the produce. Yen decided to bring vegetables to sell in the inner city to get more money than selling right at the field. She and many other households here have to drive by bicycle under the heavy rain.

Yen said that she dared not to hire pick-ups to carry the produce, which would cost her VND 150,000. She said that she has to save up money, because she has lost much money due to the flood.

The vegetable commune of Van Noi in Dong Anh district has also been suffering from the flood. Tran Thi Hop, Deputy Chairwoman of Van Noi People’s Committee, said that Van Noi has completely lost 120 ha out of 150 ha.

The local residents said that if the water goes down in one week, they will begin growing short term vegetable crops. This means that the vegetable communes will only be able to provide produce to Hanoi in 20 days.

Fish, fowls gone, leaving farmers in sorrow

Quang Dac Hop in Van Con commune in Hoai Duc district related that he previously planned to sell 500 chickens in November 2008, but he was unable to when the flood broke out. Hop said that he couldn’t do anything to rescue the chickens, leaving them to die in the flood.

Bang, Van Con Commune’s Party Committee Secretary, also complained that he has lost nearly all of the 500 chickens he owns in the flood. Bang said that the dead chickens were sold at VND 20,000/1.5kg.

Chuong My district, one of the most severely stricken areas with 2,500 ha inundated, has reported that 60,030 chickens and 657 pigs have been killed.

Hundreds of fowl farms (3,000-10,000 chickens a farm) in Phuong Tien, Nam Phuong Tien, and Thuy Xuan Tien, have all been flooded. These are the chickens which farmers raise for Charoen Pokph and Company. Currently, some 100,000 chickens are being raised on boats or on hills.

Son Tay City is not listed among the severely stricken areas of Hanoi. However, Tran Van Chien, Chairman of Co Dong Cooperative, said that nearly ten pig and fowl farms have been relocated. Some 100 pigs and 2,000 chickens have been killed, while others have been bargained away.

Chien said on November 9 that though the water has been going down gradually, 12 farms had been isolated. Vehicles could not carry feed to the farms as the roads remained between half a metre and one metre under water.

“I have never seen such a heavy rain in the dry season. Farms are now still struggling to repair the flood damage, while no official figure about damages has been released,” Chien said.

Aquaculture proves to have suffered the most in the flood. A household breeding fish in Thanh Tri district complained that they had lost several hundreds millions VND. The north saw 27,000 ha of aquaculture complete lost with the flood, of which Hanoi has lost 9,000 ha. A lot of farmers have suffered financially from the flood, unable to collect any income.

Nguyen Nga

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/biz/2008/11/812968/

7 days after the floods, still trapped at home

A woman walks at a flooded street in Tan Mai neighborhood of Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Vietnamese capital is still pumping floodwaters from city streets and homes after the heaviest rainfall in 35 years swamped large areas of the country and killed at least 92. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

A woman walks at a flooded street in Tan Mai neighborhood of Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Vietnamese capital is still pumping floodwaters from city streets and homes after the heaviest rainfall in 35 years swamped large areas of the country and killed at least 92. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Nguyen Thi Hoe has been stuck in her flooded house for an entire week with no running water, no electricity and three restless children. She’s about to go crazy with boredom.

“I feel like I’m in prison,” said Hoe, whose street is still under three feet (a meter) of water and reeks of sewage. “I heard it might rain again and we’ll be stuck here even longer. I can’t take it anymore!”

By Thursday, most of Hanoi had dried off after the worst rains in 35 years flooded neighborhoods across the capital, where 22 people died. But a handful of the hardest-hit areas are still inundated, including the Tan Mai district, where 2,800 houses remained flooded.

Hoe, 40, hasn’t gone outside for seven days. Her husband wades through the filthy water on their lane to fetch clean water and other supplies.

They’ve only had enough water for cooking and brushing their teeth — no showers, no laundry. Dirty clothes are piling up.

A woman walks at a flooded street in Tan Mai neighborhood as a man pushes a boat in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Vietnamese capital is still pumping floodwaters from city streets and homes after the heaviest rainfall in 35 years swamped large areas of the country and killed at least 92. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

A woman walks at a flooded street in Tan Mai neighborhood as a man pushes a boat in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Vietnamese capital is still pumping floodwaters from city streets and homes after the heaviest rainfall in 35 years swamped large areas of the country and killed at least 92. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

Hoe’s 17-year-old daughter, Pham Thi Nhung, finally ventured off to school after five days and came home with a rash on her legs after wading through the filthy water.

“It’s so boring in the house, but going outside is even more terrible,” Nhung said. “My exams are coming and I missed five days of school. What if I fail?”

More than 32 inches (81 centimeters) of rain fell in Hanoi over the last week, with much of it lashing the city over the weekend. Heavy rains also struck nearby northern provinces and parts of central Vietnam.

In all, 93 people died.

By Thursday, most of Hanoi was dry again, and the waters were even starting to recede in Tan Mai, a low-lying neighborhood that gets inundated with runoff from other sections of the capital.

With their toilets not working, many neighbors have been tossing buckets of waste off their balconies to get it out of their houses.

“I’ve never seen anything so disgusting in all my life,” Hoe said. “I’ve never smelled anything so awful.”

Some Tan Mai entrepreneurs crafted boats out of plastic foam and planks of wood and were ferrying people in and out of the neighborhood for a round-trip fee of $3 — a full day’s salary for many people here.

Nevertheless, some were willing to splurge to avoid setting foot in the scummy water.

The water level near Tran Quang Trung’s house had fallen enough to allow him to bathe on the sidewalk — his first bath in a week.

His bathroom was still under three feet (one meter) of water, but Trung, dressed in just a pair of running shorts, cheerfully sudsed himself up with soap and rinsed off using a bucketful of water he managed to bring home.

“This feels fantastic,” he said. “I’m so happy, I don’t care if anyone peeks at me.”

Associated Press writer Vu Tien Hong contributed to this report.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hxIa8SlpURJY2Ei0bTV5vxvwUkZAD949FO100