Flash floods kill 26 in Vietnam

  • A staggering $31 million loss has been estimated so far due to flash floods that killed 26
  • Provinces of Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La, Cao Bang and Lai Chau have been affected

HANOI – Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains have killed 26 people and left 15 missing in Vietnam’s mountainous north, authorities revealed on Monday.

The Hanoi-based disaster control office said that flash floods have caused widespread destruction in the provinces of Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La, Cao Bang and Lai Chau since the start of August.

“Twenty-six people are dead, 15 missing and 27 others were injured,” it said in a statement.

According to witnesses in Yen Bai province, floods tore through villages on Thursday night, carrying with them large boulders from the mountains.

‘I told my wife, children and grandchildren to rush out to the side of the hill,” resident Pham Xuan Thanh told online newspaper Phap Luat.’

‘In a very short time, dozens of houses in our village were washed away.’

State media ran pictures of villages swamped by mud. Throughout the northwestern area more than 650 houses were destroyed and damaged, hundreds of hectares of crops lost and roads broken, authorities said. Official estimates put total damages so far at around VND700 billion ($31 million).

Floods and tropical storms killed 264 people across the country last year and caused damage worth nearly VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), five times more than in 2015, government data showed.