Vietnam floods kill at least 50

HANOI: At least 54 people have died and 39 are missing after destructive floods battered northern and central Vietnam this week, the disaster prevention agency said yesterday.

Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. A typhoon wrecked havoc across its central provinces just last month.

The floods that hit Vietnam this week since Monday are the worst in years, state-run Vietnam Television quoted agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong as saying.

Nineteen people from four neighbouring households in Hoa Binh were buried alive early on Thursday after a midnight landslide, but only nine bodies have been found, the disaster agency said in a report.

Some 317 homes have collapsed in floods and landslides this week, while more than 34,000 other houses have been submerged or damaged. More than 22,000 ha of rice have also been damaged and around 180,000 animals have been killed.

Floods have also affected seven of 77 provinces in Thailand, to Vietnam's west, that country's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on Thursday.

More than 480,000 ha of agricultural land Thailand have been hit, it said. - REUTERS

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