Northern Vietnam gets up after flood with 36 dead, missing

The Central Steering Board for Natural Disaster Prevention and the National Committee for Search and Rescue yesterday reported 36 dead and missing in the aftermath of a severe flash flood sweeping through northern mountainous provinces last week.

Military soldiers help residents repair flood consequences (Photo: SGGP)

Military soldiers help residents repair flood consequences (Photo: SGGP)

As of the afternoon on August 5, provinces such as Yen Bai, Son La, Lai Chau and Dien Bien found dead bodies of 18 people, 18 people were still missing. Total damage caused by the flash flood has totaled VND718 billion (US$32 million).
In Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai, authorized agencies continued searching for missing victims and helping residents to remedy flood consequences. Yesterday they just found dead bodies of four victims and the destiny of 10 others were unclear.
Kim Noi commune reported most dead and missing number in the upper reaches of Nam Kim spring while Mu Cang Chai town was devastated with floodwaters and stones in the lower reaches.
Rescue workers have broken up stones for removal at collapsed houses and together with locals travelled to area near Khao Mang hydropower reservoirs, three kilometers from Mu Cang Chai town, to find missing ones.
Mr. Le Trong Khang, deputy chairman of the district People’s Committee, said that residents in Mu Cang Chai district faced many difficulties after the flood as their houses and assets had been washed away or buried under debris of soil and stone.
Mr. Mu A Qua in Mu Cang Chai town said that when flood occurred, his family just ran away and could not take any asset with them. The old motorbike which was means of livelihood of his five member family has been crushed under stone.
The most concern is that six public works comprising schools have been devastated. Mr. Vu Van Tien, principle of Mu Cang Chai secondary and high school, said that the first storey of the school has been punctured with big broken holes on the walls. Canteen, sanitary block, fencing, gate and fresh water work have also collapsed. Total damage is estimated to reach VND2 billion. Fortunately, the flash flood rolled in when students were on summer holidays.
On the afternoon on August 5, about 100 people including local residents, militia personnel and activists concentrated to help clean up mud and soil so that the school can start new academic year on August 15.
Many relief teams from the central Government and other provinces and cities have come to Yen Bai and Lao Cai provinces to give local people financial assistances, food and clothes and visited families with dead or missing relatives.
The Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Central Relief Committee donated VND300 million while the People’s Committee of Lao Cai province gave VND500 million to assist Mu Cang Chai residents.
The Vietnam Fatherland Front in Yen Bai province organized a ceremony to call on businesses and benefactors to help damaged families. Right after the ceremony, VND550 million and 2,000 kilograms of rice were raised for the purpose.
Yen Bai said that it has arranged accommodations for families losing houses and treated injured people.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha surveyed flood hit area in Yen Bai, sent condolences to victims’ families and gave VND800 million in financial assistance raised by the ministry to locals.
In Son La, Vietnam Shipping Line (Vinalines) provided VND3 billion for building a health clinic in Nam Pam commune, Muong La district and assisted families with collapsed or swept away houses with VND150 million.
The Central Committee of Vietnam Red Cross Society handed over money and commodities worth VND1.5 billion to Yen Bai, Son La and Lai Chau.

By VAN PHUC – Translated by Hai Mien

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