Heavy downpours triggered sweeping floods and landslides that killed six people in the northern highlands on Tuesday.
Vu Van Luat, spokesperson for the Lai Chau Provincial Flood Prevention and Rescue Committee, said the Thac Tinh stream rose up suddenly and rushed through Tam Duong town at 3 a.m.
Seven members of a single family were swept away.
Five perished including a couple and their three children aged 2, 7 and 13 years old. The couple’s other child Tan My May, 10, and a cousin staying with the family overnight survived with injuries.
Their house was totally swept away along with 11 motorbikes they'd kept for neighbors.
Luat said the rains also caused rockslide that hit one house in the town, killing 5-month-old Le Ngoc Tram, but sparing her parents.
Tram's mother, Nguyen Thi Luong, suffered severe spinal injuries and had to be rushed to Hanoi for emergency treatment.
Luong’s father-in-law Le Xuan Cong said he was sleeping at a higher house when the tragedy struck.
“All of a sudden all these big rocks were just rolling downhill.”
The flood and landslide also damaged large swaths of fields, irrigation works and roads.
Ly Thi Binh, a local, said she awoke to the sound of rushing water at midnight.
“I ran out and saw the flood was coming toward my house. I was trying to save two buffaloes and five sacks of rice but the water swept them away. I'm lucky I could save myself,” Binh said.