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13 Members of Rescue Party Missing in Central Vietnam After Landslide

Numerous tragedies have unfolded amid days of severe weather in central provinces.

VnExpressreports that 13 people from a 21-member rescue team that was trying to reach a remote hydropower plant in Thua Thien-Hue Province are missing after getting caught in a landslide. The group was working to verify reports that at least 10 workers at the Rao Trang 3 plant had been buried in another landslide.

The 13 missing individuals include the deputy commander of the 4th Military Region of the Vietnam People's Army, along with other soldiers and officials.  

On Monday, a resident of the area phoned in a report of the Rao Trang 3 accident, but subsequent attempts to reach that phone number were unsuccessful. 

Later that day, the rescue team was dispatched to the location, but rough terrain and overflowing streams hampered progress. They ended up making camp at two separate ranger stations about three kilometers away from the plant, and overnight, a landslide buried one of the stations. 

The news source adds that as of yesterday morning, over 100 soldiers, police officers and medics had been sent to Phong Xuan Commune, the nearest populated area to Rao Trang 3. Over 40 workers from the plant had already escaped to the Rao Trang 4 power plant before the initial landslide occurred, and it is now believed that at least 17 workers are actually missing. 

The 20-kilometer-long path from Phong Xuan to Rao Trang 3 has reportedly been cut by at least 10 landslides, while four streams have burst their banks. 

Currently, according to Zing, two large rescue helicopters are now taking part in the mission to locate the missing rescue team members and hydropower plant workers. 

Meanwhile, yet another tropical storm, Nangka, is expected to impact Vietnam today. Vinh Airport in Nghe An Province and Tho Xuan Airport in Thanh Hoa Province have both been closed, while landfall is expected in Thai Binh or Nghe An.

This follows the arrival of Storm Linfa on Sunday, which exacerbated flooding in central provinces and helped cause the disaster in Thua Thien-Hue.

[Top photo: A village in Quang Nam Province inundated by floodwater. Photo via Bao Quang Nam

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