Three children drowned in Quang Nam Province's Vang River on Wednesday (October 12), bringing the total number of Vietnamese children who have drowned in this year's flood season to 31.
The accident happened at around 3 p.m., when five students from Kim Dong Secondary School went fishing in the river. They then tried to swim across the deep river, but three of them drowned while two others managed to reach shore.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited the Mekong Delta and instructed the localities to take stronger measures to prevent fatalities among children in flood-prone regions.
He said that children were especially vulnerable during the flood season and asked that local authorities help raise awareness among parents of how to best care for their children during storms and floods.
Dung instructed Mekong Delta cities and provinces to set up more safe kindergartens, and improve health care services and education.
He said despite the fact that the floods in Mekong Delta are remarkably high, localities have been able to keep fatalities and damages at a minimum.
So far, only 6,400 hectares of rice, or less than one percent of the total area in the Delta, have been inundated by floods.
Duong Nghia Quoc of the Dong Thap Province flood and storm committee said floods are serious this year and threatening local children. "Parents should be careful around the clock to avoid drowning in flood season," he said.
According to a report issued by the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) Thursday, floods in the Mekong Delta killed 43 people this rainy season, of which are 31 children.
More than 69,500 houses were inundated while more than 1,500 others were damaged or destroyed.
Severe floods in the Delta in 2000 killed 539 people and inundated 811,000 houses.
On Wednesday, a resident in Quang Binh Province's Le Thuy District found the body of 14-year-old Pham Thi Le Thu, who went missing a day earlier.
Thu and her father Pham Van Sau were fishing on a local river when their boat capsized. Sau was luckily rescued by local residents.
On Thursday, CCFSC warned against typhoon Banyan, which is forecast to enter the East Sea soon. Rains are forecast across the country with water levels in rivers receding slowly.