Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Vietnam villagers face hunger amid floods

by Staff Writers
Thuong Village, Vietnam (AFP) Oct 9, 2007
It is hard to tell where the river ends and the rice fields start. This Vietnamese village is under muddy water that reeks with the stench of dead animals.

The worst floods in decades that followed last week's typhoon have left hundreds of homes submerged in the brown overflow of the Hoang Long river. Families are forced to cower on higher floors and rooftops, surviving on the little water and food they have. Hunger is their enemy.

Vietnam has deployed 34,000 soldiers to distribute instant noodles, drinking water and other emergency supplies by helicopter and boat in the aftermath of Typhoon Lekima -- but none of it has yet arrived, desperate locals say.

"My house has been flooded," said Dao Thi Tra, 75, crying. "I haven't received any relief aid. I've been eating corn, sweet potatoes and the rice that we stored before the floods. Now we are out of food."

The nearby house of Do Thanh Hung, 52, has become an island, accessible only by boat or makeshift raft. His family has salvaged a TV, household utensils and a bamboo sleeping mat to the upper floor, their temporary new home.

The family altar could not be saved and is submerged, along with heavy furniture, under more than one metre (three feet) of filthy water that has debris and the rotting remains of dead chicken and rats floating in it.

"My village has 136 households, or about 585 people," Hung told AFP. "None of us has received any aid yet -- food, medicine, anything.

"Over the past few days, we have lived on instant noodles that we bought before the flood. We've cooked the noodles using the flood water. We tried our best to make it clean... Many people here are hungry."

At least 59 people have died in northern and central Vietnam, and 14 remained listed missing Tuesday, since the year's fifth major storm barrelled across the South China Sea and hit the country last week.

The floods that followed have broken river dykes and completely destroyed 6,000 homes, also inundating over 120,000 houses and leaving more than 160,000 hectares (400,000 acres) of crops under water, authorities say.

An emergency assessment team for Oxfam, several UN agencies, the Red Cross and other organisations will travel into the worst-hit provinces later this week, said an aid official in Hanoi.

Here in Thuong and surrounding villages in Ninh Binh province, 3,900 hectares of rice paddy have been lost, destroying the autumn harvest, said Nguyen Cong Bang, deputy head of the Gia Vien district office.

"People's daily lives and food production have been put on hold," he said, adding that 15,000 people in the district's worst-hit areas were affected by the flood, the heaviest here in at least 20 years.

Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Minh, head of the district rescue force, said each person could receive 10 packs of noodles and biscuits, and each family 31,000 dong (1.9 dollars), a litre of fuel oil and a container of water.

The challenge, he said, was delivering the aid.

"We cannot move anywhere," he told AFP. "It will take at least one month for the situation to get back to normal."

In Thuong village, a local official yelled through a loudspeaker that any family with a boat could go to the people's committee office to pick up their noodles. But many residents said they had no bamboo canoes or rafts.

"The flood took us completely by surprise," said Ha Tien Minh, chairman of the Gia Minh commune's people's committee. "The water rose so quickly, much faster than in past years.

"The water has been here for days now, but we don't have enough boats to deliver the noodles, the food and the water to the victims. I think the starvation threat has become more urgent."

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

3,000 evacuated after China landslide blocks river
Beijing (AFP) Oct 8, 2007
More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in southwestern China after a huge landslide dammed a river, creating a menacing lake that threatened to burst, state media reported Monday.

  • Vietnam villagers face hunger amid floods
  • 3,000 evacuated after China landslide blocks river
  • Running Shipwreck Simulations Backwards Helps Identify Dangerous Waves
  • ORNL Resilience Plan To Help Tennessee, Mississippi And South Carolina Communities Beat Disaster

  • Newfound Ancient African Megadroughts May Have Driven The Evolution Of Humans And Fishes
  • China offers surprise hope in climate change fight
  • More droughts, floods for Australia as globe heats up
  • Washington Climate Meeting Wraps Up As Bush Goes On Attack

  • Successful Image Taking By The High Definition Television
  • Boeing Launches WorldView-1 Earth-Imaging Satellite
  • New Faraway Sensors Warn Of Emerging Hurricane's Strength
  • Key Sensor For Northrop Grumman NPOESS Program Passes Critical Structural Test

  • Study says French C02 target unattainable: report
  • Steel producers search for global plan to cut CO2 emissions
  • Spanish Power Company To Build Wind Farm In Russia
  • Russia To Cut Time To Consider Foreign Bids For Strategic Assets

  • China denies cover-up of pig disease
  • China confirms bird flu outbreak: HK official
  • Expert says climate change will spread global disease
  • Northern Iraq battles cholera 'epidemic'

  • Which Came First, The Chicken Genome Or The Egg Genome
  • Fair Play In Chimpanzees
  • Mountain gorillas in danger as DR Congo rebels overrun habitat
  • US scientist heralds 'artificial life' breakthrough

  • US settles record environmental suit against power firm
  • Hong Kong choking in dense smog
  • Toxic waste dump killing children in Kenya: UN report
  • US lawmaker warns of scary lead levels in Halloween items

  • Negativity Is Contagious
  • How Emotionally Charged Events Leave Their Mark On Memory
  • Walker's World: Get rich and shut up
  • Go East old man: Neanderthals reached China's doorstep

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement