20 dead, 14 missing in central Vietnam floods
12 Oct 20 VNExpress Source Severe flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rains in the central region have left at least 20 people dead and 14 others missing.The entire region has been battered by torrential downpours since last Tuesday after a cold spell came in contact with tropical turbulence. The turbulence then intensified into a tropical depression and then into Storm Linfa, which made landfall over Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces Sunday, bringing more rain.
Quang Tri Province had at least six dead as of Sunday night, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
Quang Nam, home to Hoi An, reported five deaths, Thua Thien-Hue, home to Hue, reported three deaths, while Da Nang, Quang Binh and Quang Ngai on the central coast and Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Lam Dong in the Central Highlands reported one death each.
Since the middle of last week the entire central coast and some Central Highlands provinces have been hit by torrential rains.
In some areas, hundreds of houses have been submerged under almost four meters of water.
Over 100,000 houses in 206 communes in Ha Tinh, Quang Nam, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue provinces and Da Nang City are under 0.3-3 meters of water.
The Ministry of National Defense has called for the mobilization of more than 9,600 soldiers, police officers and civilian volunteers to stand by to help people in flood-hit areas.
Colonel Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy head of the Office of National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue, said the ministry has made plans to airlift people from areas that are cut off.
On Sunday aviation authorities closed Chu Lai Airport in Quang Nam, Phu Bai in Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang International Airport and canceled dozens of flights to and from the region.
Nearly 50,000 people have been evacuated while authorities have stepped up efforts to supply food and other necessities to marooned people.
Another tropical depression is brewing over the East Sea and is expected to intensify into the year's seventh storm in Vietnamese waters, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
The center has warned provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Quang Nam to expect rains of up to 700 mm and Quang Tri and Quang Ngai to get up to 600 mm from now through Tuesday.
The flooding is expected to last until the end of this week. By Tat Dinh, Vo Thanh