Viet Nam

Hailstorms devastate northern provinces

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More than 4,500 houses and offices had their roofs torn off or sustained other damage when whirlwinds and hailstorms caused by a late cold spell hit northern mountain provinces on April 20.

In Lao Cai province, whirlwinds accompanied by hailstorms blew away roofs and damaged more than 2,200 houses and subsidiary crops in Bao Yen and Bao Thang districts. Initial damage estimates are in the billions of Vietnam Dong.

Local authorities made an inspection tour of the devastated areas and provided residents with roofing sheets and seedlings to help them restore production, repair houses and resume their normal lives.
The natural disasters also struck Bac Kan province, causing heavy damage in several towns and districts.

Trieu Van Thanh, an official of the provincial committee for flood and storm control, said hailstorms hit Na Ri, Ngan Son, Cho Don, Cho Moi and Ba Be districts, lasting 4 to 7 minutes.

Thanh said more than 2,000 houses, schools and offices had major roof damage; three local residents were slightly injured in Ba Be district; and most subsidiary crops were severely damaged.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and a child was injured in Tuyen Quang province when their stilt house collapsed as a consequence of heavy rains and strong winds.

Rescue workers retrieved the bodies of the two victims from the debris on April 21. The province provided financial assistance to the bereaved to help rebuild the house and take care of the funeral.