Vietnam flood toll rises to 70

Hanoi(DPA) : Ongoing floods in central Vietnam have killed at least 70 people and left seven missing in 10 days as another tropical storm threatened to bring more rain to the area, officials said Wednesday.

Phu Yen province suffered the most human loss with 20 people killed, said Duong Van Huong, an official with the provincial flood and storm department.

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“Though the rain has stopped and the floodwater has lowered, the death toll keeps rising,” Huong said. “Many communes are still isolated by flood water, so communication with them has been slow.”

Phu Yen province has asked the government to provide 2,000 tonnes of rice and 77 billion dong ($4.8 million) to help the flood victims, Huong said.

Floods have also injured 38 people, damaged 94,000 houses and inundated more than 18,300 hectares of paddy crops in central provinces, the Central Flood and Storm Department said.

“Rains have stopped in most of the central provinces while the floodwater level has significantly receded,” said Van Phu Chinh with the central region’s Flood and Storm Department.

Authorities in the flooded provinces have been spraying antiseptic in the areas where floodwater has retreated, and no outbreak of water-borne diseases has been detected.

Authorities fear that Tropical Storm Peipah would bring more rain to central Vietnam.

At 7.00 a.m. Wednesday, the storm with wind speeds of up to 133 km per hour was in the South China Sea, about 900 km off the Vietnamese coast and was moving south-west at 10 km an hour, according to the National Hydrometeorology Forecast Centre.

Floods and storms this year have killed at least 251 people in Vietnam, including about 90 people killed in Typhoon Lekima and the floods it triggered in early October.