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.