SINGAPORE: Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan has extended his condolences to those affected by the floods and landslides in central Vietnam, adding that Singapore was ready to support the country.
Dr Balakrishnan said he was “very saddened by the tragic loss of lives and devastation caused by the floods and landslides in central Vietnam” in a letter on Thursday (Oct 22) addressed to Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.
“Please accept my deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and to all those whose lives and livelihoods have been affected,” he said in the letter.
“Singapore stands ready to support Vietnam in whatever way we can.”
As of Wednesday, more than 100 people had died and 20 others were missing in central Vietnam following weeks of severe flooding and landslides.
Among those dead are 22 soldiers who were engulfed in a huge landslide on Sunday in Quang Tri province, and 13 members of a rescue team who had attempted to save workers from a hydropower plant.
About 178,000 homes have been submerged by floodwaters, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, with rescuers mounting a desperate bid to get food and drinking water to those cut off.
Roads, infrastructure and crops in the central region had also been devastated by the floods, the charity added, warning that hundreds of thousands of people would need housing and income support in the coming weeks.
More rain is forecast to hit the area over the weekend as Storm Saudel blows in from the South China Sea.