Viet Nam

Flood leaves 30 dead, 18 missing in Vietnam

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HANOI, Jul 24, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The flash flood in Vietnam's northern Ha Giang province on July 19 has left at least 30 dead and 18 others missing, said the provincial steering committee on flood and storm prevention on Saturday.

As of Friday, the flood, which stroke mainly Yen Minh district, also wounded 19 local people, destroyed 24 houses and nearly 1,200 hectares of crops, swept away 116 buffaloes and bulls, and inundated many local road sections, causing total losses of around 130 billion Vietnamese dong (nearly 8.3 million US dollars).

"We're still searching for the missing. I'm afraid that the number of missing may increase in the coming days due to incomplete statistics and potential new floods," said a committee member.

Army forces have provided residents in the district some two tons of rice and seven tons of necessities, while central and local organizations have offered them a considerable amount of cash, he added.

In recent days, floods, caused by heavy and torrential rain, have hit many northern localities, destroying dozens of houses and inundating over 120,000 hectares of rice and other crops. On Friday, flooding in Lao Cai province killed a local girl and swept way five houses.

Natural disasters claimed 7,760 human lives and caused total losses of 40 trillion Vietnamese dong (2.5 billion dollars) in Vietnam between 1996 and 2002, according to the country's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.