Tag Archives: heavy

Vietnam sniffer dogs search for flood victims

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A man drives his motorcycle through a flooded road in Pac Nam district, in Vietnam’s northern Bac Kan province July 6, 2009.

Vietnam sniffer dogs search for flood victims

PAC NAM, Vietnam (Reuters) – Vietnamese soldiers and police used sniffer dogs on Tuesday to search for victims of floods in the north of the country which killed at least 34 people.

Flash floods and landslides from heavy rain on Friday night hit eight northern mountainous provinces in one of Vietnam’s most impoverished areas, with Bac Kan province topping the casualty list with 13 deaths.

Flooding and heavy rain late last week in neighbouring southern China forced 550,000 people to evacuate their homes and killed at least 15, Xinhua news agency reported.

The government said on Tuesday nearly 800 houses in seven provinces had been destroyed or submerged, while floods had damaged rice and corn crops, irrigation systems and roads.

Vietnam is often struck by floods and storms between July and October. The disaster area is far from Vietnam’s main rice and coffee growing regions.

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China evacuates as storm strikes

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China evacuates as storm strikes

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Nearly one-million people have been evacuated from the coastal regions of China as Typhoon Morakot blew in.

Winds of up 119km/h (74mph) destroyed houses and flooded farmland, a small boy died when a building collapsed, before it weakened to a tropical storm.

In Taiwan, where the typhoon hit on Sunday, 12 people are confirmed dead.

Meanwhile, in Japan nine people are reported dead in floods and landslides after Typhoon Etau brought heavy rain to the west of the country.

Eight people died in Hyogo prefecture, including one man whose car was swept away by a swollen river, and another died in neighbouring Okayama prefecture.

Another 10 people are missing.

‘Treetops visible’

Chinese state media said that the sky turned completely dark in Beibi, Fujian, when Typhoon Morakot made landfall on Sunday morning.

Trees were uprooted as high winds and heavy rain lashed the coast, and more than 2,000 houses are reported to have collapsed.

Some 473,000 residents of Zhejiang province were evacuated before the typhoon struck, as well as 480,000 from Fujian, Xinhua news agency said.

In Zhejiang’s Wenzhou City a four year-old child was killed when a house collapsed. Dozens of roads were said to be flooded and the city’s airport was closed.

Rescuers used dinghies to reach worst-hit areas; in one area only the tops of trees were said to be showing above the floodwater.

Taiwan devastation

Earlier, Morakot dumped 250cm of rain on Taiwan as it crossed the island, washing away bridges and roads.

At least 12 people died and 52 are missing in some of the worst flooding for 50 years, among them a group reportedly washed away from a make-shift shelter in Kaohsiung in the south.

In one incident, an entire hotel – empty at the time – was swept away by the waters.

At least 10,000 people were trapped in three coastal towns, a local official in the southern county of Pingtung said.

In Chihpen, one of Taiwan’s most famous hot spring resorts, a hotel collapsed after flood waters undermined its foundations.

Morakot – which means emerald in Thai – has also contributed to heavy rains in the Philippines. At least 10 people were killed in flooding and landslides in the north.

Typhoons are frequent in the region between July and September.

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Deadly floods ravage Brazil’s Minas Gerais

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A total of 66 towns cities in Minas Gerais state have declared a state of emergency.In the town of Ouro Preto two taxi drivers died when a bus station was destroyed by a landslide.
Flood waters are also threatening hillside communities in Rio de Janeiro state that were devastated a year ago.

Flooding is common in southeastern Brazil during the rainy season. Nationwide, more than 2m people have been affected by this year’s rains, Brazil’s civil defence force says.

About 10,300 people have been evacuated, and 3,000 homes have been destroyed.

Many roads have been blocked, making it difficult to get help and supplies to affected areas.

Early warning

Last year floods killed more than 800 people, in what officials said was the worst natural disaster ever to befall Brazil.
Most of the deaths were in towns in the mountains north of Rio de Janeiro such as Nova Friburgo, which are again suffering from intense rains.

Since then, the Brazil government has set up an early warning system to monitor weather rainfall and ensure people evacuate before floods strike.

There has also been heavy investment in flood protection.

Minas Gerais state governor Antonio Anastasia said disaster prevention measures had proved effective.

“Given the quantity of rain, we can observe that the system of alerts and evacuation are working well,” he said.

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