A flood victim family in seen after the devastating Typhoon Noru. (Photo supplied)
Catholics in Vietnam’s central provinces have reached out with emergency aid to thousands o people, who are badly affected by flooding as tropical storm Typhoon Noru hit the Southeast Asian nation.
The storm triggered heavy rainfall, causing landslides and flooding that killed at least eight people including a four-month-old baby, damaged tens of thousands of houses, and destroyed vast swathes of cropland in Nghe An province, state-run Nghe An newspaper reported.
Some 1,000 people from Ta Ca commune were still isolated by floods on Oct. 2.
The authorities evacuated about 327,900 people across the provinces of Thua Thien Hue, Danang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Bình Định before the typhoon made landfall on Sept. 28, according to Vietnam Disaster Management Authority.
Michael Pham Van Duc from Hung Thinh Parish in Hung Nguyen district said 120 houses including his were still inundated and without power. He had a cow and 20 chickens washed away and 500 kilograms of rice and peanuts damaged.
Duc, a father of three, said local people stayed at church facilities and were given clothes, blankets, and instant noodles from other parishes.
Officials from Vinh Diocese said that workers and volunteers from Catholic charity Caritas used boats to carry emergency aid materials to victims regardless of their backgrounds.
Paul Nguyen Dang Tien from Gia Phuong Parish in the neighboring province of Ha Tinh said his family has been staying at a church facility since Sept 28. They could not return his house is still submerged in 70 centimeters of water. He said floodwater washed all their belongings, fishing nets, and a boat.
Tien, a fisherman who relies on the Ngan Sau River to support his six-member family, said they live on food aid from Catholics from other places. Some 300 people have been sheltering in church facilities in the parish.
He said Catholic volunteers used boats to move elderly, women, and children from dangerous places to churches for safety.
Tien said he seeks cash support from Caritas in Ha Tinh to buy another boat and fishing tools to work for a living. Like him, dozens of local fishermen had their boats washed away by floodwater.
Some 1,700 households have their houses inundated and many villages are still isolated by flooding, provincial authorities said.
Anna Tran Thi Phep from An Van Parish in Thua Thien Hue province said Typhoon Noru damaged her house and killed her poultry. The typhoon killed one person, injured another three, and destroyed some 100 houses in the province.
Phep, 70, who stayed at the church during the typhoon, said local Catholics helped clean her house after the typhoon and offered her five million dong (US$210) for repair works.
Father Anthony Nguyen Ngoc Ha, director of Caritas in Hue, said Caritas volunteers work round the clock providing clothes, blankets, instant noodles, rice, bottled water, and money for victims of the typhoon at 12 parishes in the two provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue.