x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

No relief in Vietnam floods

Much of Hanoi is under water as the death toll from the city's worst flooding in two decades climbs to 30.

Residents travel by boat along a flooded street in Hanoi on Nov 1 2008. Vietnamese authorities warned of more flash floods in the north of the country.
Residents travel by boat along a flooded street in Hanoi on Nov 1 2008. Vietnamese authorities warned of more flash floods in the north of the country.

HANOI // Floods triggered by torrential rains in northern and central Vietnam have killed at least 30 people, state media said today, more than half of them in the capital Hanoi which as been hit by the worst flooding in more than two decades. More flash floods were expected in the northern and central provinces later today and tomorrow, weather forecasters said. Floods on Hoang Long, Buoi and Ca rivers in northern Vietnam remained on "very high level," the government's storm and flood control committee said in the report. State media said at least 18 people were killed by the floods in Hanoi, believed to be the heaviest to hit the capital since 1984. Among the dead were three children on their way to school. Many streets in downtown and on the outskirts of the capital remained under water and residents were seen fishing on the streets near the city's biggest lake West Lake. "Food, especially vegetables, is running out fast and prices have gone up four or five times," said Nguyen Thu Thuy whose home has been under water since yesterday. Many residents in Hanoi abandoned cars and motorcycles in the streets. Torrential rain continued to pound northern Vietnam and weather forecasters said warning of flash floods in six mountainous provinces. Up to 400mm of rain had pounded Hanoi since Friday, halting traffic, while landslides had eroded many sections of the north-south Ho Chi Minh highway in Thua Thien-Hue province. Vietnam's main agricultural area, including the Central Highlands coffee belt and the Mekong Delta rice basket, has not been affected by the floods, although rain disrupted coffee harvesting this week. The harvest is due to peak in mid-November in the Central Highlands, two weeks earlier than usual, but rain could prolong the drying process and damage bean quality, traders have said. Typhoons and floods have killed several hundred people in northern and central provinces since the start of this year. The flood and storm season ends next month in the central region, which is widely exposed to the sea.

*Reuters