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Tropical Depression Causes Devastating Flash Flooding, Landslides in Son La, Yen Bai

As Vietnam’s rainy season reaches its peak, a recent tropical depression battered the country’s northern provinces, devastating local infrastructure and villages.

According to Tuoi Tre, heavy downpours blasted Yen Bai and Son La provinces early in the morning of August 3, leading to flash floods and landslides. Yen Bai-based Mu Cang Chai town was one of the hardest-hit areas: the flooding killed two, injured eight and left 13 others missing.

Rescue efforts taking place in Son La province.

“This is a historic flood in Mu Cang Chai. Nobody could predict that a seemingly safe location such as the town center can suffer from such a devastating flood,” Vice Chairman of the Yen Bai People’s Committee Nguyen Van Khanh told the newspaper.

Khanh added that apart from the above-mentioned fatalities, the calamity has wiped out most of the small town’s public facilities, including a kindergarten, a middle school, a high school and a training center.

Moreover, 32 private homes were destroyed while 15 others were either flooded or severely damaged. The damage is estimated to worth around VND150 billion (US$6.6 million).

Flash floods destroyed Mu Cang Chai's terraced paddy fields.

Thanh Nien reports that by the afternoon of August 3, local authorities had enlisted around 1,000 personnel to participate in rescue efforts in the affected provinces, 400-500 of which are currently focusing on Mu Cang Chai.

In Son La province, the damage is also severe, as landslides washed away many private houses as well as medical clinics and schools.

Zing quoted a representative from the Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting as saying that the torrential rain was caused by both a tropical depression and a low pressure area that enveloped northern provinces. It’s likely that the area will experience more rain until August 6.

Many public buildings were affected by landslides.

[Photos via Zing]

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