Storm Son Tinh kills 20, leaves 16 missing in Vietnam

Residents clear debris in a village damaged by flash flooding in Vietnam’s Yen Bai province on July 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Storm Son Tinh kills 20, leaves 16 missing in Vietnam

  • Tropical storm Son Tinh has killed 20 people, left 16 missing and injured 14 in Vietnam.
  • Last year, 389 lives were claimed by natural disasters in the country, with material damages reportedly reaching $2.6 billion.

HANOI: Tropical storm Son Tinh has killed 20 people, left 16 missing and injured 14 in Vietnam, the country's rescue committee said on Saturday.
Floods triggered by heavy rains hit northern Vietnam after tropical storm Son Tinh made landfall in northern coastal areas on Thursday, while the capital Hanoi was flooded and lashed by torrential rains.
More than 5,000 houses were damaged, swept away, submerged or collapsed, around 82,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of crops were damaged and nearly 17,000 animals were killed nationwide, the Vietnam National Committee for Search and Rescue said in a report.
Heavy rains are expected to continue over the next few days, Vietnam's Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said in a separate statement on Saturday.


Koreas to shut down some border guard posts

Updated 25 min 21 sec ago
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Koreas to shut down some border guard posts

  • The Demilitarized Zone that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953
  • The DMZ, designated as a buffer zone, bisects the Korean peninsula and is about four kilometers wide

SEOUL: North and South Korea have agreed to close some guard posts along their border on a trial basis, Seoul’s defense minister told parliament Tuesday amid a rapid diplomatic thaw.
The Demilitarized Zone that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953 is, despite its name, one of the most fortified places on earth, with the areas on either side of it bristling with minefields and barbed-wire fences.
Song Young-moo said the South would withdraw around 10 guard posts as part of confidence-building measures following the landmark summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in April.
“What it means is that we will first withdraw one or two guard posts and gradually expand it,” Song told lawmakers, adding the North would take reciprocal measures.
“The North and South agreed to withdraw guard posts that are closest to each other,” he added.
“The closest is about 700 meters away and we will begin withdrawing guard posts that are within one kilometer.”
A defense ministry official said the issue was still being discussed and declined to clarify whether the posts would be physically removed.
The 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically at war.
The DMZ, designated as a buffer zone, bisects the Korean peninsula and is about four kilometers (2.5 miles) wide. It includes a Joint Security Area around the truce village of Panmunjom, where negotiations take place.