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40 dead, 22 missing as downpours, flash floods pound northern, central Vietnam

rain storms of vietnamHundreds of search and rescue officers are looking for victims buried by a landslide that collapsed seven houses early morning on October 12 in Hoa Binh Province. Photo by VnExpress

The death toll continues to mount as heavy rains leave a trail of destruction. 

Heavy rains have triggered flash floods in northern and central Vietnam over the past two days, leaving 40 dead and 22 missing and causing havoc in many provinces.

A landslide in the early hours on Thursday in Hoa Binh Province has collapsed seven houses, burying 18 people. So far, three people have been rescued and eight are confirmed dead.

The incident has increased Hoa Binh's death toll to 15, the highest among all provinces. Nghe An and Thanh Hoa have reported eight deaths.

Five deaths have been reported in Son La Province, while three people are missing and hundreds of houses and many hectares of crops have been destroyed.

In Yen Bai Province, four people were killed and 11 people are missing, including a Vietnam News Agency reporter who was swept away when a bridge connecting Highway 32 in Nghia Lo Commune collapsed.

The floods are the result of a tropical depression that is sweeping through northern and central provinces.

Vietnam has already suffered destructive stormy weather this year. Floods in northern Vietnam killed at least 26 people and washed away hundreds of homes in August before Typhoon Doksuri, the strongest to hit the country in years, killed at least eight people in the central region last month.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.

Source: VnExpress

Ha Long Bay airport set to open next spring

Ha Long Bay draws tourists with a magnificent scene of more than 1,500 limestone karst islands popping up from turquoise watersHa Long Bay draws tourists with a magnificent scene of more than 1,500 limestone karst islands popping up from turquoise waters

The airport lies 31 miles from the famous bay and is designed to receive two million arrivals a year.
If you’ve always fancied a trip to Ha Long Bay but are not a fan of road travel, a new option is floating in the distance.

Local officials have announced that an international airport near the bay will be opened at the end of March next year, according to a Hanoi Moi report.

The airport, also the first private facility in Vietnam, will land on Van Don Island around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the famous bay.

Official details are not yet available, but the $330 million project is designed to receive two million arrivals a year by 2020, and there are plans to expand the capacity to five million by 2030.

Vietnam’s government approved the project in 2014. A group of South Korean investors was originally assigned to build the airport, but after an early exit in 2015, local real estate conglomerate Sun Group took over.

Another Vietnamese company is also developing a $2 billion casino complex on the island.

Ha Long Bay was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.

Visitor numbers rose 23 percent on-year from January-March to 944,000, including more than 800,000 foreigners, according to official figures.

The bay was used to film the recent Hollywood blockbuster "Kong: Skull Island", and has ben raved about by many travel bloggers.

---Source: Vnexpres---