Sapa floods 2008 – missed me by days

Relief being delivered to Vietnam flood victims and damage assessments underway

HANOI, 14 August 2008 (IRIN) – Disaster assessment teams have headed into parts of northern Vietnam that were hard hit by tropical storm Kammuri, which caused flooding and landslides resulting in the deaths of at least 119 and the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people, according to government officials.
Kammuri battered the region on 8 and 9 August with high winds and heavy rains, causing rivers to burst their banks, washing away houses and roads, and bringing down walls of mud on homes.

On 13 August, the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) reported 119 deaths, 40 missing and 86 injured. Some 798 houses have been destroyed and 17,888 damaged, while 14,088 hectares of rice and other crops were spoilt.

As of 12 August, troops had evacuated 1,824 families from flood areas in Lao Cai province, the worst hit in terms of human losses, according to the CCFSC.

A national newspaper, the Vietnam News, said rains, while weakening, have continued to cause floods and landslides in Bac Kan province, adding that most communes in the province’s Pac Nam district remained isolated.

The newspaper said 300 tourists stranded in the hill resort of Sapa arrived back in Hanoi after the train service between the capital and Lao Cai resumed on 14 August.

Wow! I had no idea this had happened. I was in Sapa in late July 2008, literally days before this storm. In fact, I was lucky to be able to get there at all due to recent landslides that had blocked the train line. As it was, the train stopped a few stations before Lao Cai where we were all ferried to Sapa via car. That 5am road trip was through very slippery mud roads full of huge puddles. The two days I spent in Sapa were gorgeous – scenery, people and weather – so perhaps I should have stayed much longer to stave off the massive storm that devastated the area afterward.

I’ve selected some images of Sapa for this post, inspired by my thoughts of where the flooding must have hit hardest.

You can view my entire Sapa photo collection at Flickr.

Sapa Collection – Day 1
Sapa Collection – Day 2

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