The Red Cross estimates 10 million people have been affected by the latest typhoon damage and floods in Vietnam, and has launched an emergency appeal for US$3 million in relief aid. “We estimate that there are affected by floods in July, and by the most recent floods,” said
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) spokeswoman Winnie Romeril says 10 million people were affected by floods last week, and 10 million by floods in July as well. “A lot of people were displaced twice,” she said.
The international aid appeal will focus on providing a month’s worth of food supplies for 193,000 people in the hardest-hit regions, the federation said in a statement. Romeril says the number affected covers those displaced or whose homes were either destroyed or damaged after floods and Typhoon Lekima hit Vietnam last week.
Vietnamese officials have described the floods as the worst in 45 years in some regions. Authorities say the floods have either destroyed or damaged more than 134,400 houses and inundated more than 160,000 hectares of rice fields and other crops.
IFRC staffer Joe Lowry said in the statement that there are “really two emergencies with the same result”. “The mountainous regions are facing killer flash floods while in the lowlands, standing water simply refuses to drain,” he said.
The Red Cross says six of the worst-affected provinces were already under water following three days of rainfall before the typhoon struck. It says damaged dams and swollen rivers flooded communities, washed away homes, roads and bridges and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands.
The death toll from Vietnam’s typhoon and floods has reached 71, with 15 people listed as missing. Officials say they also fear disease outbreaks in water-logged areas.
The Central Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control says at least 64 flood fatalities have been reported in northern and central Vietnam since Typhoon Lekima hit last week and killed seven people.
Relief and rescue activities involving emergency services and some 34,000 troops are still ongoing for the victims, many of whom have lived on rooftops and dykes, surviving on little food and clean water over the past week.