x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Flood toll rises to 119 in Vietnam and China

Flood waters from southern China are further pushing up river levels in northern Vietnam.

HANOI // Flood waters from southern China were further pushing up river levels in northern Vietnam today, worsening inundations in a wide region that have killed at least 119 people on both sides of the land border. Floods striking northern and central Vietnam since last Friday killed 85 people, while 34 died from flooding and mudslides in south-western China. On Tuesday, more rain fell in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, where authorities reported 20 deaths from drowning, electric shock or lightning in the heaviest flooding since 1984. Schools stayed closed and many streets in and around the city remained submerged.

"This natural disaster is characterised as the largest ever in Hanoi," Pham Quang Nghi, chief of the Hanoi branch of the ruling Communist Party, said. In south-western China's Yunnan province, mudslides caused by heavy rain killed at least 26 people, with 45 missing, Chinese state media reported. Mountain torrents triggered by heavy rain hit Guangxi to the east of Yunnan, killing eight. Vietnam's health ministry alerted all clinics in flood-hit areas to be staffed around the clock to prepare for any outbreaks of diseases such as cholera or dengue as residents in parts of Hanoi and 17 other provinces struggled with shortages of fresh water, food and power cuts.

The state-run Voice of Vietnam radio said instant noodle and rice were distributed to flood victims in and around Hanoi yesterday. *Reuters