HANOI (Reuters) – The death toll from floods and landslides in Vietnam rose to 15 on Tuesday with authorities warning the toll could go higher with more torrential rains forecast for the worst hit province in the mountainous north.
Lai Chau province, 470 kms (290 miles) northwest of Hanoi, has been the worst hit with at least 12 people, including two children, killed, said Le Trong Quang, Deputy Chairman of the province’s People’s Committee.
Most of the victims drowned or were buried in landslides, triggered by heavy rains since Saturday, Quang told Reuters.
“We are bracing for more rains in the coming days and I fear that the death toll in the province will continue to climb as 11 people remain missing,” Quang said.
Vietnam is prone to natural disasters, with floods and typhoons killing hundreds of people each year. Natural calamities killed 389 people and injured 668 others in the country last year, according to the government.
In the neighboring province of Ha Giang flash floods have killed three people, the government’s Disaster Management Authority said.
Floods and landslides have also caused damage worth over 141 billion dong ($6.15 million) to houses, roads and crops in the area, according to the agency.
It said traffic to many areas of the provinces remain cut off on Tuesday.
($1 = 22,923 dong)
Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Michael Perry