Flood Toll Rises, Rains Resume In Hanoi


Tuesday, November 4th 2008, 5:37 am
By: News On 6


HANOI, Vietnam – The death toll from several days of flooding in Vietnam rose to 83 on Tuesday as authorities announced they had recovered 17 more bodies.

Disaster officials said they recovered two more bodies in the capital, Hanoi, 12 more in nearby northern provinces, and three more in central Vietnam, areas still suffering from flooding caused by heavy rains last week.

Showers resumed in northern and central Vietnam on Tuesday, and forecasters predicted several more days of rain but said it would be lighter than the downpours that soaked the region over the weekend.

The weekend rains in Hanoi were the worst in at least two decades. On Monday, the rains stopped for most of the day and water levels began to recede.

But swollen rivers and lakes continued threatening dikes across the region, authorities said, and parts of the capital were still submerged on Tuesday.

Schools remained closed and in some areas, garbage and debris floated into flooded homes.

"My house is still surrounded by water and it smells horrible," said Nguyen Thi Lien, 67, a retiree who lives in western Hanoi. "We have limited water, just for cooking, and we haven't had a bath in four days."

Vietnamese authorities were concerned about possible outbreaks of waterborne diseases, said Nguyen Huy Nga of the Health Ministry.

"Diarrhea, cholera and typhoid could occur after a week of flooding, and dengue fever is also a concern," Nga said.

In all, flooding in central Vietnam has killed 41 people, while 42 have died in Hanoi and nearby northern provinces.

In the northern province of Vinh Phuc, five more bodies were discovered Monday, said official Nguyen The Hung.

A total of seven more deaths were reported in the northern provinces of Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen, Bac Giang, Hung Yen and Ha Nam, authorities said.

In central Vietnam, authorities said Tuesday that three more bodies had been discovered in Ha Tinh province, bringing the total there to 15.

In neighboring Nghe An, the worst-hit province, 22 people have died.

Although the rains have eased in the central region, flooding continued to cut off some isolated areas.

"Roads to those villages are still under water," said Pham Viet Phu, a disaster official in Nghe An. "The death toll could rise."