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Death toll from worst Vietnam floods in years rises to 54

HANOI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - At least 54 people died and 39
went missing as destructive floods battered northern and central
Vietnam this week, the disaster prevention agency said on
Friday.

Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to
its long coastline. A typhoon wrecked havoc across central
provinces just last month.

The floods that hit Vietnam this week starting on Monday are
the worst in years, state-run Vietnam Television quoted
agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong as saying.

Nineteen people from four neighbouring households in Hoa
Binh were buried alive early on Thursday after a landslide
struck around midnight on Wednesday, but only nine bodies have
been found, the disaster agency said in a report.

Some 317 homes have collapsed in floods and landslides this
week, while more than 34,000 other houses have been submerged or
damaged.

More than 22,000 hectares (54,300 acres) of rice have also
been damaged and around 180,000 animals killed or washed away.

Floods have also affected seven of 77 provinces in Thailand,
Vietnam's neighbour to the west, that country's Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on Thursday.

More than 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of
agricultural land Thailand have been hit, the department said.

(Reporting by Mi Nguyen; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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