Sudden floods marking the start of summer have claimed four lives and damaged a total of 11,000ha of rice and vegetables in the central provinces of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.

The four people, one in Thua Thien - Hue, one in Quang Nam and two in Quang Ngai, drowned in the floods which followed a three-day downpour with falls of 300mm.

A report by the central steering committee for disaster prevention said the floods destroyed 8,000ha of rice and 3,000ha of vegetables, sweet corn, peanuts and watermelon ready for harvest. Farmers face losses of billions Vietnamese dong. The floods also swept away 56.5ha of aquaculture fish and prawns.

On March 30, flooding blocked travel, impacting the lives of people in the Thua Thien - Hue districts of Quang Dien, Huong Tra, and Phu Loc.

"We will be hungry soon as water drowned the rice and vegetables," farmer Nguyen Cat from Quang Phuoc commune told Viet Nam News.

In Quang Nam, agricultural losses could reach 55 billion VND (2.53 million USD). The province was hit hardest among the three localities.

Fifteen houses either collapsed or were damaged. Water covered roads around the province, hindering traffic in the districts of Nghia Hanh, Tu Nghia, Mo Duc, Ba To and Duc Pho.

Severe landslides occurred on the banks of the Rin River and besides streams in mountainous Son Ha district.

Pham Truong Tho, Deputy Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, said local authorities had deployed forces to save lives in landslide-prone areas and ease traffic jams.-VNA