Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 16:08 UK

Dozens killed in Vietnam floods


People struggle in the flooded terrain

At least 62 people in northern Vietnam have been killed by flash floods and landslides caused by a tropical storm.

Dozens of people are missing and entire villages have been cut off in Lao Cai, the worst-affected province.

A rescue effort led by the army is under way but is being hampered by the severe weather.

Tropical storm Kammuri, which came in from the Gulf of Tonkin and made landfall on Friday, hit China with rain and winds earlier in the week.

Officials in the mountainous province of Lao Cai, which borders China, told news agencies that tens of thousands of people had been stranded after roads were washed away.

Further landslides have been predicted, sparking fears that the death toll could rise.

Mud and water

The government said that more than 60 people were missing in several northern provinces, including Lao Cai. Hundreds of houses have been destroyed.

Red River in Lao Cai
Rivers in the worst-hit province of Lao Cai have risen

In Yen Bai, an official told Associated Press that some people were killed in their homes as they slept.

"The water and walls of mud came at night when everybody was sleeping," Luong Tuan Anh was quoted as saying. "They could not run to safety."

Kammuri is the ninth tropical storm of the year.

Earlier in the week, China evacuated nearly 400,000 people and called thousands of vessels back to port as the storm lashed its southern coast.

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