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18 Dead, 14 Missing as Extended Rain, Flash Floods Batter Central Vietnam

After days of unprecedented heavy downpours, the arrival of Storm Linfa added insult to injury in an already-battered central Vietnam.

Earlier in the morning of Sunday, October 11, the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting confirmed that a tropical depression has strengthened into a typhoon, named Linfa. The storm was the sixth major typhoon Vietnam has experienced this year.

Dangerous levels of rain have been wreaking havoc on provinces in Central Vietnam over the past week, and the addition of Storm Linfa turned the disaster into a catastrophe. According to Tien Phong, as of this morning October 12, flash floods and torrential rain in Central Vietnam have claimed 18 lives and caused 14 others to go missing.

Of the 18 fatalities, six were in Quang Tri, three were in Thua Thien-Hue, three were in Quang Nam. Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Lam Dong and Quang Binh each recorded one death.

The storm has damaged nearly 110,000 houses across the central coast. Around 110 sections of Vietnam’s national highways were paralyzed by subsidence and water damage. Economic destruction has also been severe: nearly 600 hectares of rice fields and 3,900 hectares of cash crops are waterlogged and buried. About 2,150 hectares of aquaculture farms were ruined.

The forecasting center projected that from today to tomorrow, heavy rain due to Linfa will continue to batter the region while another tropical depression recently formed in offshore Philippines. The new system might intensify into yet another typhoon as it moves westward into the East Sea.

[Photo: A street in Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province is completed submerged/Dan Viet]