FLOODS triggered by heavy rains have killed 24 people and left four others missing in central Vietnam as Typhoon Sarika approaches after leaving at least two people dead and displacing more than 150,000 in the Philippines, disaster officials said.
In the worst-hit province of Quang Binh, 18 people died and authorities are searching for three missing, disaster official Tran Le Dang Hung said.
Six people died and one was reported missing in three other central provinces.
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Heavy rains of up to 90 centimeters (3 feet) on Friday and Saturday submerged 125,000 homes in the region, temporarily disrupted the North-South Highway and damaged infrastructure, crops and fish farms.
Hung said the floods have receded in most areas in Quang Binh.
According to a Vietnam Television (VTV) broadcast, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung held a meeting on preparations for the typhoon.
“We need to focus on searching for the missing,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
Assuring that the government would provide food relief in flood-affected areas, Dung also urged authorities to reinforce its flood mitigation and evacuation plans, as well as key infrastructure projects.
Many reservoirs in the country were also at risk of bursting at any time due to rising waters, State-run VTV warned viewers, as it aired footage of people stranded of rooftops of their houses.
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A government report said the floods have displaced some 500,000 people while 100,000 houses were either submerged and damaged by the waters.
On Sunday, a powerful Typhoon Karikatyphoon slammed into the northeastern Philippines, leaving at least two people dead. The winds knocked out power and isolated villages in floods and toppled trees.
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Officials say Typhoon Karika, known locally as “Karen”, blew into Aurora province early Sunday and barrelled fast through heavily-populated agricultural provinces with sustained winds of 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour and gusts of 220 kph (136 mph).
Additional reporting from the Associated Press