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Vietnam: Dozens killed by floods and landslides

Destructive floods and landslides have killed at least 54 people in northern and central Vietnam in one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit in years. With another tropical storm on the way, more rain is expected.

The death toll from devastating flooding in Vietnam rose to 54 while over 30 people are injured, officials said on Friday.

At least 39 people are still missing after a tropical depression deposited nearly 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain over the weekend, raising concern the death toll could mount.

Rescue crews battled high water, submerged roads and broken bridges, slowing down rescue efforts in north and central Vietnam. Over 300 homes have collapsed in flood waters while over 34,000 other houses have been submerged or damaged, Vietnam's disaster agency said.

Read: Floods - Challenging our future

Outside the capital Hanoi, part of a river dyke collapsed and flooded nearby farming communities.

"Our whole village lost all our fish and vegetables in the water," 63-year-old farmer Ngo Van Thanh told state-controlled VNExpress.
An estimated 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of farmland have also been destroyed.

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

Read moreClimate change burden unfairly borne by world's poorest countries

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

A tropical storm which swept through the Philippines on Friday morning is moving towards Vietnam and will likely hit within the coming days bringing more heavy rainfall, national forecasters said.

rs, cw/kms (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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