Flood leaves 13 dead, missing, thousands of visitors stranded in Lao Cai

Heavy-rain triggered flooding in the wake of tropical storm Nida caused at least 13 people dead and missing and thousands of visitors stranded due to landslide and flooding in Highway 4D in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai on August 5.

Hundreds of houses were submerged under floodwater in Lao Cai province on August 5 (Photo: SGGP)

According to the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center, storm Nida rendering widespread heavy rains, flash flood and landslides in the northwestern region where locals were struggling to overcome consequences in the aftermath of the first storm hitting the country this year.

The Central Steering Center of Natural Disaster Prevention reported that Lao Cai province was the worst hit with 13 people dead and missing. Of these, a couple lost three children who were three, 11 years and five months old in the flood. A mother was swept away with two children of the age of 4-8 years old.

Traffic on Highway 4D was disrupted from Lao Cai city to Sa Pa district, power blackout occurred in the entire Bat Xat district. Hundreds of houses were submerged under one meter of floodwater.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dang Xuan Phong said that the province suffered a total damage of VND200 billion (US$8.97 million).

Lao Cai province reports 13 people dead and missing due to heavy rains and flooding on August 5 (Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Nong Van Hung, director of the Lao Cai Department of Transport said that the flood occurred at the weekend when tourists flocked to Sa Pa district and got stranded along the highway from Lao Cai city to Sa Pa district and vice versa. The visitors reached the city safely by the afternoon.

The department has mobilized all human resources and machines to remove the debris of soil and repair the road. These works are expected to complete on August 6.

In addition, it has proposed the Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Expressway Corporation to instruct toll stations in Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway to stop toll charge on vehicles on the way to Sa Pa.

The National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center said that floodwater from the upper reaches has swollen the Red River. Mountainous areas are still vulnerable to flash floods and landslides in Lai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lao Cai and Yen Bai.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung was pre
sent in the province yesterday to visit local citizens including relatives of the dead and missing victims.

He instructed authorized agencies and rescue forces to repair landslide and eroded spots in the highway as soon as possible to resume traffic of passenger and tourist buses, seek the missing ones, visit and assist affected households and remove those vulnerable to landslide and flooding to safety.

All visitors stranded in Highway 4D becuase of flooding and landslide have reached Lao Cai city safely in the afternoon of August 5 (Photo: SGGP)

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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