Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Vietnam flood toll hits 28: officials

HANOI (AFP) — The death toll from flooding and landslides in mountainous northern Vietnam has risen to at least 28, authorities have said.

Most of the deaths were in Bac Kan and Lai Chau provinces, said the National Flood and Storm Control Committee, updating its previous figure of at least 22 deaths since heavy rains began on Friday.

Thanh Nien newspaper quoted Trieu Kiem Vang, a farmer in Bac Kan's Khen Len hamlet, as saying his two sons, their wives and two granddaughters were buried in a landslide.

There were also deaths in Cao Bang, Son La, Lao Cai and Ha Giang provinces, the flood committee said, listing three people as missing.

The storms destroyed nine bridges, flooded hundreds of houses and about 600 hectares (1,480 acres) of cropland, authorities said.

Security forces are assisting in the aid and rescue effort, state television reported.

Vietnam's flood and storm season generally starts in July and lasts until November.

Last year at least 550 people died in disasters triggered by bad weather, the national statistics office said earlier.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

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