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Ahead of Typhoon Sarika, Flooding Kills 35 in Vietnam

Oct 18, 2016 05:55 AM EDT

Thirty five people were killed while four others are still missing as flood triggered by heavy rains pounded central Vietnam, according to local disaster officials.

Search and rescue operations are still ongoing after the flood submerged 120,000 homes and destroyed 1,600 hectares of rice paddy and 3,000 hectares of fish farms.

Vietnam Breaking News noted that National Committee for Search and Rescue (NDCR) reported that the coastal province of Quang Binh has the highest number of deaths with 22 while the Ha Tinh Province has nine.

Read: Heavy Rains, Animal Sacrifice in Bangladesh Turn Streets Into River of Blood

The flooding affected thousands of people across four central provinces, NDCR added.The disaster was brought by torrential rains but local news outlets reported that it was worsened by the discharges from hydropower reservoirs.

"The dam operators should have informed locals properly in advance," a local official told Vn Express.

As the country is still recovering from the recent catastrophe, the government is simultaneously preparing for Typhoon Sarika which could be the strongest storm to hit Vietnam in recent years.

"We are worried," disaster official Tran Le Dang Hung said to Associated Press via telephone from Quang Binh. "We have instructed district governments to outline plans for evacuating people from high-risk areas to cope with the Typhoon."

Meanwhile, National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center, Vietnam's weather and climate authority, is yet to expect typhoon Sarika to hit the country this week.

Sarika, which left two people dead in the Philippines last weekend, is moving closer to Hainan Island of China today before crossing the Gulf of Tonkin on Thursday.

As of 5 a.m., National Aeronautics and Space Administration- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NASA-NOAA) spotted Sarika about 409 nautical miles east-southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam. Sarika is packing a maximum sustained winds near 92 mph (80 knots/148 kph), while moving to the west at 10 mph (8 knots/16 kph).

Sarika is expected to make a third and last of its landfall in Northern Vietnam. The country is hit by an average of eight to 10 storms from July to October every year.

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