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Vietnam: Dozens killed by floods and landslides

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Rescue efforts are being hampered by impassable roads. More heavy rains are expected in the next few days.

Floods and landslides across north and central Vietnam have killed at least 37 people, the disaster prevention agency said Thursday.

At least 40 people have gone missing since a tropical depression nearly 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain starting over the weekend, raising concern the death toll could mount.

Rescue crews battled high water, submerged roads and knocked out bridges that have slowed down a response. More than 17,000 households have been evacuated.

"People should be evacuated from dangerous areas, the safety of people and their belongings must be ensured," Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said on Vietnams state-run television.

Some 200 homes have collapsed and nearly 18,000 other houses are underwater or damaged, the disaster agency said. An estimated 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of farmland have also been destroyed.

Vietnam is often hit by storms and floods, with more than 200 people killed in weather-related events last year.

Forecasters said a tropical depression forming east of the Philippines is likely to hit Vietnam in the next few days.

cw/kms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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