Vietnam – Flooding Causes Further Fatalities as Tropical Cyclone Sarika Approaches

A further 11 deaths resulting from the current floods in central Vietnam have been reported by officials as the country prepares for the oncoming Tropical Cyclone Sarika.

Floods in Vietnam, October 2016. Photo: Vietnam Red Cross Society
Floods in Vietnam, October 2016. Photo: Vietnam Red Cross Society

According to Vietnam’s Disaster Management Center (DMC), the death toll now stands at 35, up from 24 as previously reported. A further four people remain missing.

A long period of heavy rain caused flooding in the provinces of Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue from Thursday, 13 October, 2016. According to WMO figures Ha Tinh recorded over 800 mm of rain between 13 and 16 October. Many other areas saw over 400 mm during that 3 day period.

The worst hit area remains the province of Quang Bin, where 22 of the fatalities have been reported. Nine people have also died in Ha Tinh Province.

As many as 120,000 homes have been flooded. The flooding has also caused severe damage to rice and crops, and also 3,000 hectares of fish farms.

Vietnam Red Cross Society Responds

In response to the situation, the Vietnam Red Cross Society has released one billion Vietnamese Dong (86,000 US Dollars) from its emergency funds to provide immediate assistance to the affected people in the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri. This includes cash, 900 household kits, 300 shelter kits, 200 water filters and 70,000 water purification tablets.

The Vietnam Red Cross Society headquarters has also launched an SMS campaign to mobilize support for communities affected by the flood. Between now and the end of November, each text message with the text “UH” sent to the humanitarian gateway 1404 will help raise 18,000 Vietnamese Dong (around 1 US dollars) for those affected.

While the rains have stopped, flooding remains a concern due to high water levels in reservoirs. There are also risks of flash floods and landslide in mountainous areas. As some communities in the central provinces begin to recover from the flooding, the country is braced for Tropical Cyclone Sarika.

Tropical Cyclone Sarika

Tropical Cyclone Sarika made landfall as a Tropical Storm in Guangxi province, China, early on 19 October, 2016.

Earlier Sarika had crossed over China’s Hainan province (China), where over 47 000 people have been evacuated and over 2,500 houses have been partially or fully damaged.

Sarika has since continued moving north north-east over Guangxi, but is said to be dissipating.

Sarika had earlier affected several regions of the Philippines, forcing around 40,000 to evacuate and damaging around 7,800 houses, mostly in Aurora Province.

The Philippines now has to face the onslaught of “Super Typhoon” Haima, which made landfall in Cagayan province in Luzon Region on 19 October, with maximum sustained winds of up to 220 km/h.