Floods and landslides have killed at least 54 people and left another 39 missing after a tropical depression hit Vietnam. The death toll may rise because heavy rains in central and northern regions of the country have disrupted travel, hampering search and rescue efforts.

Vietnam floods
An aerial view of farmers paddling in a boat in a flooded village in VietnamKham/Reuters

The storm that hit central Vietnam on Tuesday (10 October) submerged more than 30,000 houses and damaged infrastructure, crops and livestock, the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said in a statement. State-run Vietnam Television quoted agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong as saying the floods are the country's worst in years. More than 22,000 hectares (54,300 acres) of rice have also been damaged and around 180,000 animals killed or washed away.

Vietnam floods
A man fishes on a flooded road after a tropical depression in HanoiKham/Reuters
Vietnam floods
A submerged temple is seen in a flooded village after a tropical depression in HanoiKham/Reuters
Vietnam floods
People watch as the flood gates are opened at Hoa Binh hydroelectric power plant after heavy rainfall caused by a tropical depression in Hoa Binh province, outside Hanoi, VietnamKham/Reuters

Nineteen people from four neighbouring households in Hoa Binh were buried alive in a landslide, but only nine bodies have been found, the disaster agency said in a report.

Vietnam floods
Rescuers search for bodies of victims at the site of a landslide in Tan Lac district, northern province of Hoa BinhViet Dung/AFP
Vietnam floods
Rescuers use heavy machinery to search for bodies of victims at the site of a landslide in Tan Lac district, in the northern Vietnamese province of Hoa BinhViet Dung/AFP

Disaster official Nguyen Thi Lien from northern Yen Bai province, where six people have died from the floods, said 580 soldiers and police and more than 2,000 residents have been mobilised to search for another 16 still missing in the province.

"Transportation to and from southern District of Tram Tau was cut off by landslides and floods, making it impossible to send additional search forces to look for six people still missing there," Lien said adding the search operations in that district now only rely on local military, police and villagers.

Vietnam floods
A man uses a boat to cross a flooded street in the northern Vietnamese province of Ninh BinhAFP
Vietnam floods
Soldiers reinforce a dyke with sand bags in the northern province of Ninh BinhVietnam News Agency/AFP
Vietnam floods
Rescuers load boats with boxes of food, mostly instant noodles, that will be distributed to local residents in Thach Thanh district, central province of Thanh HoaVietnam News Agency/AFP
Vietnam floods
Residents stand at one end of a destroyed bridge in the northern province of Yen BaiVietnam News Agency/AFP
Vietnam floods
Soldiers carry a pig through a flooded area in the central province of Thanh HoaVietnam News Agency/AFP
Vietnam floods
A woman stands outside her flooded homeKham/Reuters
Vietnam floods
A family watches TV inside their flooded homeKham/Reuters

Another tropical depression which has been upgraded to tropical storm, Khanun, is heading towards Vietnam after sweeping through the Philippines. This storm could bring more rains and misery to Vietnam's central and northern regions already soaked with rain and floodwaters.

Floods have also affected seven of 77 provinces in Thailand, Vietnam's neighbour to the west, that country's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said. More than 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of agricultural land in Thailand have been hit, the department said.