Floods kill 30 in Vietnam; 20 more swept from bus

The death toll from the latest floods caused by heavy rains in central Vietnam rose to 30.

Hanoi: Surging currents sucked a
bus off a flooded highway and swept away 20 of its passengers,
including a girl ripped from her mother`s arms, as flooding
caused 30 other deaths in Vietnam and a monster Typhoon Megi
loomed offshore on Monday.

Seventeen other people from the bus, including the
driver, escaped by swimming to safety or clinging to trees or
power poles, said Nguyen Hien Luong, head of Nghi Xuan
district in Ha Tinh province. They were later rescued by
fishermen and police, but 20 remained missing.

A 46-year-old woman carrying her daughter treaded water
for 3 hours as the current dragged her 3 kilometres along the
Lam River. But she was forced to let go of her daughter due to
exhaustion before she was rescued. The girl was among three
missing children.

The bus was travelling from the central highlands
province of Dak Nong to the capital when it drove through
about 60 centimetres of gushing water and was knocked off
balance around 4:30 am today, Luong said. Many passengers were
jolted awake when the bus began to tilt sideways,
state-controlled media reported.

"I heard people screaming that the bus was being swept
away. I looked out and it was all water," the online newspaper
Bee.net quoted survivor Ha Xuan Toa as saying. "People smashed
windows to get out, but only one window was broken and we got
out one by one."

About 500 soldiers, police and fishermen searched for the
bus and possible survivors. Those remaining on the bus were
presumed dead, Luong said.