Over the past few days, prolonged downpours have caused flooding in several central and southern provinces, affecting local people's lives and near-harvested farm produce.

Flood water from upstream An Phu district in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang has claimed at least four lives, damaged some residential property and over 117ha of rice and subsidiary crops, according to the provincial storm and flood control department.

Binh Thuan province, in the southern central region, reported that heavy rain had inundated 175 houses, nearly 1,200ha of rice and nearly 500ha of crops such as dragon fruit, rubber and cashew trees as on Sept. 11 afternoon.

Some riverside areas in Ham Thuan Nam and Ham Tan districts, are still submerged.

Rainfall, gauged at up to 500m in central Thanh Hoa province, caused the flooding of over 5,000ha of rice crops, with Tinh Gia district being the hardest hit.

Chief Officer of the provincial storm and flood control department Nguyen Trong Hai said that water levels at some reservoirs had risen alarmingly high, necessitating discharge.

In northern Lao Cai province, due to heavy rains, four farmers from Duong Quy Commune, Van Ban district, were struck by lightening while sleeping in a cardamom field on Sept. 10, but they narrowly escaped .

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Metorological Forecasting, rainfall in central provinces was measured at 100-250m on average, requiring precautions against flash and heavy flooding.

The water levels of rivers in Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh were forecast to rise on Sept. 12./.