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  Enviroment Research & Protection

Deadly flooding follows in Muifa's wake

Eight people are reported dead and another eight missing in central region floods which struck in the aftermath of Typhoon Muifa, said representatives from the dyke management and flood and storm control departments.

More than 4,000 railway passengers were stranded as heavily flooded tracks on the north-south rail line in Hue forced three Thong Nhat trains, S2, S4 and E2, to stop over at Hue Railway Station, and the S5 and S7 trains to wait in Quang Tri's Dong Railway Station.

To ensure the passenger's lives, the Viet Nam Railway Corporation had to postpone the El, Sl and S3 trains last night departing from Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City.

The floods cost VND5 billion (US$318,000) in damages for tour delays, railway repairs and services for the stranded passengers, according to Nguyen Huu Thang, the corporation's general director.

The flood and storm control department is maintaining high water level warnings for rivers in Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quing Nam provinces due to the torrential rains that accompanied and followed the typhoon.

Rivers continue' to rise, surpassing the third and highest warning level, according to the department's last report released at 4am yesterday.

Traffic jams

Flooding has damaged road-ways, irrigation, fanning and aquaculture in numerous locales in the centre.

In the Thua Thien-Hue Province, the majority of urban roads north and south of Hue were under water at a depth between 0.4m and one metre. The districts' seriously flooded traffic system has caused much difficulty to local residents.

The fall and collapse of large trees on National Highway 1 A and Ho Chi Minh Highway further compounded the traffic problems, but the trees have now been cleared by local authorities.

In Quang Nam province, the traffic route linking the southern and northern Tra My Districts was severed due to the rising water levels of the Truong River. The district's flood and storm control committee directed the local transport sector to clear soil and rocks from the road, aiming to re-open it to traffic. The southern district has been entirely isolated for four days from access to traffic and communications because torrential rains also took out telephone lines.

The flood swept away three fishing boats in Quang Tri province. Hundreds of hectares of rice, other crops and shrimp were destroyed, and 87 houses were flooded in the province.

Flood control needed

The Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control has demanded that provincial committees take measures to control further flooding.

The committees are instructed to timely inform local residents of the flood situation in low-lying areas and alongside rivers, as well as owners of river transport, in order to help them prevent loss of life and property.

The committees will coordinate with local forces to evacuate households alongside rivers and from mountainside at risk of landslide.

VNS - (29/11/2004)

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