A landslide occurred early on Sunday morning local time in Vietnam, and a barracks of the Fourth Military Region of the Vietnamese People’s Army in Quang Tri province was hit by a mudslide. At least 14 military personnel were killed and the whereabouts of 8 people were unknown. Reuters reported that the incident occurred during the fight against the catastrophic flood, which may be the largest military loss Vietnam suffered in peacetime.
Phan Van Giang, Deputy Minister of National Defense of Vietnam, was emotional when interviewed by reporters on Sunday: “We had another sleepless night.” The official social media account of the Vietnamese government stated: “We have never lost so many soldiers in a natural disaster, including two generals and senior officials.”
In an interview with Vietnam Express-News, a local official said: “Since 2 am, there have been 4 to 5 landslides, which exploded like a bomb, and it felt like the whole mountain was about to collapse.”
According to reports, since the beginning of October, heavy rains have continued in central Vietnam, leading to the worst floods in many years, killing more than 80 people. In the past week, at least 70 people have died. More torrential rains are expected in the coming days.
According to official Vietnamese media reports, the river level in Quang Tri province has risen to its highest level in more than 20 years. More than 40,000 houses were flooded and dozens of people died. In Hue Province, rescuers fought the torrential rain while searching for at least 15 construction workers who were missing due to a landslide. The Vietnam Meteorological Administration said that until Wednesday, parts of central Vietnam will continue to rain as much as 600 mm.
The British BBC reported that just a few days before the fatal landslide, a landslide occurred at the hydroelectric power plant in Hue Province. The 13 members of the rescue team (mostly soldiers) were killed when they participated in the rescue of the factory workers.