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13 Nov 2007 08:50
New floods triggered by heavy rains in central Vietnam have claimed 11 more deaths and paralysed traffic, trapping thousands of tourists in popular resort areas, officials and local media reported on Tuesday.
The remnants of Typhoon Peipah, which had weakened to a tropical depression, dumped heavy rains on to already flooded areas of the centre of Vietnam.
“So far, 24 people have been killed by the floods, and three others have been reported missing,” said Van Phu Chinh, head of the flood and storm control department in Central region. “It is still raining and the water is receding very slowly,” he said.
Meanwhile, local militias launched a massive hunt for hundreds of crocodiles that escaped from a farm in Khanh Hoa province, 400km north of Ho Chi Minh City.
At least 67 crocodiles had been captured or killed by Tuesday—with some flood victims slaughtering the beasts for food—but an unknown number of the reptiles were still on the loose, officials said.
Meter-high flood waters in the historic town of Hoi An forced about 500 tourists to seek higher ground and move around the 500-year-old port town in boats, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.
Further south, the ancient imperial capital Hue had about 2 500 foreign tourists unable to leave as roads and trains were cut off by the rising waters, Thanh Nien reported
“Rising waters of at least 60cm to 70cm high have jammed traffic in Danang and Quang Nam provinces and in Hue city,” Chinh said.
The Vietnam Railway Corporation reported that eight of its north-south trains with about 4 000 passengers were stranded at central railway stations due to high waters, according to Tien Phong newspaper.
Floods and storms that have hit central Vietnam since October have so far killed at least 186 people.—Sapa-dpa
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