Asia-Pacific

Floods inundate central Vietnam after heavy rain

Flooded house in Quang Binh province, Vietnam - 4 October 2010
Quang Binh province has been one of the worst-flooded areas

At least 26 people have been killed in flooding that has swamped parts of central Vietnam.

More than 34,000 people in the worst-hit provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh have left their homes after days of torrential rain.

The army has been using boats and helicopters to move people to safety and deliver food to the affected area.

Vietnam is frequently hit at this time of year by tropical storms and heavy flooding.

On Tuesday, officials said 130cm (51in) of rain had fallen in the region since Friday.

Thousands of hectares of rice fields have been flooded.

In all, five provinces are affected in a swathe of territory south of Hanoi, in northern Vietnam.

"This is the second time since 1985 that the water level went up too fast," said Phan Trietn in Quang Binh province.

"I just escaped from the water and all my belongings were swept away."

Landslides and floods have cut off several major roads, including highways 1 and 9 and the Ho Chi Minh highway, officials said.

Rail services have also been disrupted.

Water levels on rivers were dropping in Quang Binh province while rivers from Quang Tri to Thua Thien-Hue provinces were continuing to rise, said the national meteorology centre.

More rain was forecast for the central coast of Vietnam.

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