Floods, landslides kill 32 in northern Vietnam


The death toll from a powerful typhoon that hit the Philippines and China earlier in the week has jumped to 32 in Vietnam as flash floods swept through villages, the government said today.

Thousands of homes were either washed away or destroyed in northern Vietnam as typhoon Hagupit brought heavy rains and landslides, the government's storm and flood prevention committee said in a report.

Hagupit, which means "lashing" in Filipino, killed at least eight people in the Philippines and three in China where it triggered a "once-in-a-century storm tide."

Five people were not yet accounted for since floods hit the northern mountainous areas since Friday and 36 were injured, the government said.

Thousands of soldiers have been sent to rescue and evacuate thousands of people out of areas vulnerable to more flash floods and landslides in the mountainous provinces of Son La, Lang Son and Bac Giang.

More floods are expected in the Thai Binh river while water on the Red River in the capital Hanoi is expected to cross the danger mark on Sunday, rising to 8.6 meter (28 ft), the National Meteorology Centre's forecast said.

The center also warned of more landslides in the northern mountainous region as more rains were expected on Sunday.

Vietnam's main agriculture belt including the coffee-growing Central Highlands region and the Mekong Delta rice basket was not on the storm's path.