At least five people have been killed and three others are missing in flash floods and landslides triggered by Storm Vicente in northern mountainous provinces over the past three days.

Among those killed were a five-month-old girl, her five-year-old brother and their mother.

Rescue teams found it difficult to locate and rescue some victims due to the heavy rain, said Lieutenant-colonel Tran Van Manh, head of Ha Giang province's Lung Lan Border Station.

Initial reports from the localities said that hundreds of hectares of crops had been inundated and many houses destroyed by floodwaters. Roads were also blocked by landslides on National Highway No 32 connecting Yen Bai City and Van Yen district.

Thousands of cubic metres of rock brought traffic to a standstill on Cao Bang Province 's National Highway No 34.

The daily life of people in the province was disrupted by water up to two metres high swirling through their homes.

About 20 families living in Son La Province's Muong Bu commune were evacuated to avoid flash floods and landslides.

Hoang Duc Trong, vice chairman of Yen Bai province's Luc Yen district, said schools and households were moved to safer areas as water continued to rise.

In Dien Bien province alone, the damage is estimated to be up to 1 billion VND (48,000 USD). Other provinces are yet to make their reports.

Agencies mobilised militiamen and rescue teams to be on duty round the clock to help residents.

According to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre, water levels are at a dangerous 23.5-31.5 metres along Phu Tho province's Thao River and Tuyen Quang province's Lo River.

Vincente weakened into a low tropical pressure after passing border areas of Cao Bang and Lang Son provinces on July 26.-VNA