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30 more die in Vietnam floods


Hanoi : At least 30 people were killed and 25 were missing after heavy rains hit central Vietnam, bringing the death toll in October to 97, authorities said Monday.

Most of victims were swept away by floods in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien Hue provinces, the national steering committee on storm and flood control reported.

The missing included 20 passengers who were travelling in a bus on National Highway No 1 in Ha Tinh province when it was swept away by strong currents from the Lam river which flooded the road.

Sixteen passengers and the driver managed to break a window and escape. As of late Monday, the search for the bus and the other passengers was ongoing.

Thousands of vehicles were stranded on the highway which links north and south Vietnam, as the road was blocked in several places by the floods.

Some 400 to 968 mm of rain has fallen on central Vietnam since Thursday, officials said, with some parts of Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces reporting up to two metres of rainfall.

More then 100,000 houses have been flooded and 68,000 people evacuated.

At least two hydropower dams were reportedly damaged, along with several roads and railways in Ha Tinh province. At least 12 trains with more than 3,000 passengers were stuck at stations.

“We are not sure when we will be able to resume train operations, but we will start fixing the tracks as soon as the water subsides,” said Nguyen Huu Tuyen, head of Vietnam Railway’s transport business department.