Vietnam floods kill 49, Hanoi still under water

HANOI (Reuters) – Floods triggered by torrential rains in northern and central Vietnam have killed about 49 people, state media said on Sunday, 18 of them in the capital Hanoi hit by the worst flooding in more than two decades.

More flash floods were expected in the northern and central provinces later on Sunday and Monday, weather forecasters said.

“The flood situation remains very complicated,” the national meteorology center said in a flood report late on Sunday.

A vegetable seller goes through a flooded street in Hanoi,Vietnam, ... 
A vegetable seller goes through a flooded street in Hanoi,Vietnam, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. Much of Vietnam’s capital remained under water Sunday as the death toll from the city’s worst flooding in two decades climbed to 17, disaster officials and state media reported.(AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

Floods on Hoang Long, Buoi and Ca rivers in northern Vietnam remained on “very high level,” the government’s storm and flood control committee said in the report.

State media said at least 18 people were killed by the floods in Hanoi, believed to be the heaviest to hit the capital since 1984. Among the dead were three children on their way to school.

National channel Vietnam Television quoted flood control officials as saying about 49 people had been killed and several remained missing in floods in the country’s northern and central regions in the past week.

Many streets in downtown and on the outskirts of the capital remained under water and residents were seen fishing on the streets near West Lake, the city’s biggest.

“Food, especially vegetables, is running out fast and prices have gone up four or five times,” said Nguyen Thu Thuy, whose home has been under water since Saturday.

Television footage on Sunday showed more than 90 percent of the capital’s vegetable growing acreage was under up to 1 meter (3 ft) of water.

Many residents in Hanoi abandoned cars and motorcycles in the streets.

Torrential rain continues to pound northern Vietnam on Saturday, weather forecasters said warning of flash floods in six mountainous provinces.

A customer stands in front of a submerged supermarket along ...
A customer stands in front of a submerged supermarket along a flooded street in Hanoi, November 1, 20008.(Kham/Reuters)

Up to 500 mm (19.7 inch) of rain had pounded Hanoi since Friday, halting traffic, while landslides had eroded many sections of the north-south Ho Chi Minh highway in Thua Thien-Hue province.

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