Many dead following landslide as Vietnam continues to grapple with floods

Sunday, 2020-10-18 12:23:52
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A road was being cleared to reach the landslide site.
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NDO - A landslide on early October 18 has buried 22 military officers and soldiers in Quang Tri Province while central Vietnam continues to struggle with rising floodwaters and heavy rains, which have killed more than 60 people.

The missing soldiers are members of the 4th Military Region, who had already lost ten officers during a rescue mission at a hydropower plant in Thua Thien Hue Province.

According to the local government, the landslide took place in Huong Phung Commune in the mountainous district of Huong Hoa.
Equipment and rescue workers have been mobilised to clear the roads to the incident site, which are blocked by rocks and mud from the landslide, while sniffer dogs are used to look for the missing people.

As of 3 pm, 11 bodies had been recovered but the search effort was hampered by the continuing fall of rocks, earth and trees as well as the risks from floods.

Over the past days, hundreds of millimetres of rain have been dumped on the region and more torrential rains are expected for the coming days due to the impact of cold air and tropical activities.

It is forecast that the water levels in rivers throughout the region will keep rising, particularly in the two provinces of Quang Bind and Quang Tri, further compounding the disaster which has killed at least 64 people since early October.

Police officers evacuate local residents from their flooded house.

Rains and floods have also displaced tens of thousands of people and caused severe damages to houses, roads and crops, according to the national disaster management agency.

It stated that the floodwater has now exceeded all historical records and the disaster risk level has been upgraded to level four on a scale of five, signifying a very high risk of flooding and landslides.

Speaking from Thua Thien Hue Province on October 18, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung stated that the current situation is very urgent and local authorities should quickly approach sites of landslides and look for the missing.

He urged them to be proactive in dealing with any emerging situations in order to minimise the loss of human lives and properties.

The Deputy PM had earlier attended a memorial service for 13 members of a rescue team who perished a few days ago while trying to reach the construction site of the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to hunt for 17 missing workers.

A nursery school in Quang Binh is submerged by floodwaters.

Vast areas of central Vietnam have been flooded for days.