Over 100 dead as Vietnam faces one of the worst floods in decades

Torrential floods.

Sumita Thiagarajan | October 22, 2020, 04:54 PM

Central Vietnam has been experiencing prolonged heavy rain since the start of this month, due to tropical storms and seasonal shifts in the weather due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

According to NASA's Earth Observatory, the ITCZ is the region across the globe where the trade winds of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres meet, near the equator.

Close to a million affected by flooding in central Vietnam

In a document by the Vietnam Red Cross Society (NVRC) on Monday (Oct. 19), it was reported that roughly a million people have been severely affected by floods in the central region of Vietnam, such as Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam.

NVRC also reported that "hundreds of thousands of people have been cut off by the floodwater and are now in desperate need of emergency relief, such as emergency shelter, safe drinking water, food and livelihood income support".

As of Oct. 21, over 100 people have lost their lives to floods, while over 250,000 homes have been submerged, reported CNN.

Country continues to grapple with Covid-19 pandemic amidst floods

In a report by the VNRC, the humanitarian organization highlighted the struggles of the country as it aims to tackle both the atypical weather cycle and the economic losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This picture taken on October 8, 2020 and released on October 9, 2020 by the Vietnam News Agency shows houses inundated by floodwaters following heavy rainfall in Central Vietnam's Quang Binh province. (Photo by STR / Vietnam News Agency / AFP) (Photo by STR/Vietnam News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

While the organisation has provided help and support to around 1,000 vulnerable households since the start of the year, it highlighted that vulnerable sections of the country's population has seen a decrease in income and livelihoods, which would be made worse by the abnormal weather cycle the country is facing.

Since the start of torrential rains on Oct. 6, VNRC has distributed emergency aid in the form of cash assistance, household items, blankets, water purification tablets, and mosquito nets.

Volunteers and disaster response teams have been reaching affected communities by boat as infrastructure, such as roads have been destroyed or inundated.

Photos from International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) show the extent of the damage to homes and the those who have been affected:

Photo by IFRC.org via FB

Photo by IFRC.org via FB

Photo by IFRC.org via FB

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Top image from Getty