Heavy rains are expected to continue battering the northern region this week, raising fears of further flash floods and landslides.

The National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre said rain had already caused landslides and flooding in the mountainous provinces of Dien Bien, Ha Giang and Lao Cai, damaging property and blocking traffic for hours.

Rainfall ranged between 60-130mm (about three to six inches).

Tens of thousands of cubic metres of earth and rock crashed down on National Highway 279 in Na Nhan commune, the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien on August 23.

Over the weekend, local authorities mobilised equipment and staff to clear the road. A temporary 200m bypass was opened on August 25.

In Ha Giang province, a 28-year-old man from Tung Vai commune, Quan Ba district, was killed after being struck by lightning on August 25 morning. His wife, who was injured in the freak accident, was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Heavy rains also triggered landslides in Xin Cai commune, burying two houses and damaging property in Xa Nhe Lu hamlet.

Chairman of the Quan Ba People's Committee Nguyen Hong Hai said local authorities have evacuated householders from landslide-prone areas.

The two households hit by the landslide were also given 13 million VND (619 USD) each to help them recover.-VNA