In Vietnam, a series of tropical rainstorms which hit the country from the South China Sea over recent weeks have caused widespread flooding in both northern and southern provinces.
In Vietnam, a series of tropical rainstorms which hit the country from the South China Sea over recent weeks have caused widespread flooding in both northern and southern provinces. Official sources state that more than half a million houses have been destroyed, almost three million tonnes of rice have been lost, and more than four million people affected in the floods.
SYNOPSIS: One of the worst-hit areas in South Vietnam is the Dong Thap Province containing the Mekong Delta. Here thirty-six people are reported drowned, twenty-five thousand houses flooded, and five thousand houses completely destroyed. Many people are still awaiting rescue. Food supplies are threatened because,in south Vietnam alone, almost half a million hectares of land (1,235,000 acres) are under water. On October the first, a Government boat with diplomats and newsmen toured the Mekong Delta and the Cambodian border to view the damage caused by the floods. Making an appeal for international aid, a Vietnamese Government official said that food, clothing, roofing material, diesel oil, seeds, fertilizer and insecticides were urgently needed. He added that two point seven million people would need emergency relief for the next six months until the next harvest.
In the North Vietnamese province of Na Nam Nih -- where these pictures were taken -- another half million hectares of land are under water. Several soldiers were reported killed when they tried to rescue people and property in the flood-stricken areas. The floods are almost wiped out the potentially-abundant rice crops, and the Vietnamese Government has called for a major effort by the Vietnamese people to grow more food to overcome the effects of the disaster.
In addition, about one million people in unaffected areas are to give two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of rice every month until next spring to relieve the threat of famine in the flooded areas.
Radio Hanoi announced on October the seventh that renewed flooding could be expected. There is a shortage of medical supplies, and rice to feed one million people for twelve months has been lost in the Mekong Delta along. Observers say the flooding has delivered a savage blow to Hanoi's post-war reconstruction plans.