HANOI, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters, mostly flash floods and landslides, have killed or left 245 people missing in Vietnam so far this year, its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Friday.
In the 10-month period, the natural disasters also destroyed over 4,600 houses, and damaged crops and many infrastructure works, including roads, bridges and dykes, causing property losses of more than 36,500 billion Vietnamese dong (over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars).
Vietnam is accelerating the relocation of over 2,400 households in the three northern provinces of Son La, Yen Bai and Hoa Binh and in the central province of Thanh Hoa, who are living in areas prone to flash floods or landslides, said the ministry.
Floods and landslides triggered by downpour in the four provinces from Aug. 2-3 and from Oct. 9-10 killed or left 91 people missing, and caused property losses of more than 8,500 billion Vietnamese dong (376 million U.S. dollars).
Over the past two decades, natural disasters in Vietnam have caused over 13,000 deaths as well as property damage estimated to be in excess of 6.4 billion U.S. dollars.
Disasters cost Vietnam an average of up to 1.5 percent of its gross domestic product each year, according to the World Bank in the country.