Twenty-eight die in Vietnam floods, nine missing

HANOI - Flooding in Vietnam has killed at least 28 people since Friday, with nine others missing and nearly 80,000 displaced, state media and government reports said, after a tropical depression dumped heavy rains across central regions of the country.

In Quang Ngai province, where nine were killed and four people are missing, flood waters rose above a previous peak measured in 1999, submerging many houses, the official Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported on Sunday.

Flood waters rose quickly after 15 hydro power plants in the central region opened their sluice gates to release water in reservoir protection, the newspaper reported.

Around 100,000 houses were submerged and nearly 80,000 people have been evacuated, the government-run committee on floods and storm protection said in a report. Roads have been closed due to floods and some national train services cancelled.

The central region, incorporating the Central Highlands coffee belt, often suffers from floods and storms between July and October.

Rain since Friday disrupted the coffee harvest and bean drying in central highland provinces, thus delaying the bean flow to sea ports. Vietnam is the world's top robusta producer, accounting for around 17 per cent of the world's output.

More rain was forecast in the coffee-growing region on Sunday, state forecasters said.