Death toll from Vietnam floods hits 75

Sixteen more bodies have been pulled from flooded areas across four provinces since yesterday, officials said.

Rescuers also pulled nine bodies from a bus hoisted from the bottom of the Lam River yesterday where it sunk after being swept off the road. The bodies of five other passengers were also fished from the river the same day.

Rescuers continued to search along the river for six passengers still missing and presumed dead, said Bui Le Bac, a disaster official in Ha Tinh province where the bus had gone down.

Eighteen others, including the driver, managed to escape when the bus was dragged off the road early Monday while travelling from the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong to northern Nam Dinh province. Three children were among the dead inside the bus. The region has been slammed by 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) of rain over the past week, inundating large swaths of land in the three worst-hit provinces, submerging nearly 280,000 houses and forcing more than 170,000 villagers from their homes.

Disaster officials reported 24 deaths in Nghe An province, 20 in Ha Tinh province as well as the 14 bus passengers, 12 in Quang Binh and five in Thanh Hoa province.
Another 66 people were killed by an earlier round of flooding this month.

Flood waters have receded in most parts of central Vietnam, allowing thousands of people to return home, disaster officials said. No damage estimates have been released. The national floods and storms control committee said nearly 3 trillion dong (USD 150 million) and 15,000 tons of rice are needed to help affected people.

Vietnam is prone to floods and storms which kill hundreds of people each year.

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