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Flash floods, landslides kill 5 in northern Vietnam

HANOI, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — Five people were killed while four others remain missing as of Wednesday in Vietnam’s northern mountainous region due to prolonged flash floods and landslides, Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said on Thursday.

According to the committee, in Lao Cai province, 13 houses collapsed or were damaged. Nearly 150 hectares of farm produce and 61 fishing farms were destroyed.

A state of natural disaster emergency has been announced in the tourism spot of Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai province.

The total damage in the province were estimated to be over 255 billion Vietnamese dong (10.5 million U.S. dollars).

The floods and landslides have also destroyed nine houses, inundated nearly 30 hectares of rice and vegetable fields in Ha Giang and Yen Bai provinces.

Northern mountainous and midland localities are expected to see more rains in the coming days, the committee said on Thursday with warning on rising river water levels, flash floods, and landslides in low-lying areas.

The northern mountainous localities were asked to keep a close watch on weather conditions, evacuate residents from disaster-prone areas to safer places, and send forces to the dangerous sites to ensure safety of residents and vehicles.

According to the General Statistics Office, in the first eight months of this year, natural disasters left 79 people dead or missing and 91 others injured in Vietnam.

The disasters meanwhile caused economic losses of over 2 trillion Vietnamese dong (82 million dollars) from January to August, down 64.8 percent year on year.

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