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18 dead in Vietnam floods: government

HANOI, October 7, 2011 (AFP) - The death toll from the worst floods to strike Vietnam's Mekong Delta in a decade has risen to 18, the government said on Friday as it warned of further danger.

Sixteen of the dead were children, the national flood and storm control committee said.

"In the next few days, flooding in the Mekong Delta will rise slowly and continue to remain high," the committee said in a statement.

It said about 56,000 homes have been inundated and more than 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) of rice destroyed in the flooding, which started in mid-September.

Vietnam is the world's number-two rice exporter and the Mekong Delta in the south accounts for half the country's production.

Official media said the lost rice crop in one affected province alone was worth $2.7 million.

Unusually severe monsoon floods have killed 252 people in Thailand and 172 people in Cambodia, while inundating vast swathes of paddy fields in the region.


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