Dramatic video has emerged of soldiers from the Vietnamese People’s Army (VPA) rescuing villagers cut off by flash floods in Muong La district, Son La Province in northwestern Vietnam earlier this month.
In the video above a soldier losses his grip on the rope-line across the rapidly flowing river as a villager attempts to cross. His comrades immediately react and frantically reach out to him as the cascading torrent threatens to propel him downstream to an uncertain future.
As women in the background scream, the man’s comrades, and what appears to be one of the villagers, manage to pounce on him. Their combined weight arresting his water-borne journey. Unperturbed by the life-threatening incident he and his Vietnamese People’s Army comrades immediately return to the rope-line to assist others.
As villagers attempt to move their belongings to safer ground, they make the precarious journey across the wildly flowing river, one hand frantically clutching the rope-line, the other tightly gripping their precious, meager belongings.
As one person attempts to cross the river the Vietnamese People’s Army soldiers hold on to each others wrists as they reach out to the man to assist him to cross. Additional video shows other Vietnamese People’s Army soldiers winching pillows, blankets, and mattress across the river with a makeshift pulley system.
Muong La district has been hit hard by heavy rain and water runoff since the start of the month, with flash floods killing more than 30 people, leaving at least a dozen others missing and injuring scores more.
According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control (CSCNDPC) heavy rain has also caused severe damage in other northern provinces, including Yen Bai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, and Cao Bang.
The CSCNDPC says more than 400 people, including those in the video above, have been evacuated to safety by the Vietnamese People’s Army, while some 231 houses have been washed away. A further 245 have been damaged, while more than 338.5 hectares (about 85,534 acres) of rice paddy have been submerged.
- Floods in northern Vietnam cause 41 million USD in damage (VietnamPlus)
- Laos sends sympathy over flood losses in northern Việt Nam (Viet Nam News)
- Thai Navy Caught on Camera in Dramatic Flood Rescue (AEC News Today)