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    Vietnam rushes food aid to flood victims

    HANOI (AP): Vietnamese authorities are rushing food aid to more than 100,000 victims as the death toll from weekend floods in the country's central region climbed further Wednesday even as waters receded, disaster officials said.

    Vietnamese officials said they recovered six more bodies Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 35 since the rains began Saturday.

    Rescuers found five bodies in the hardest-hit Quang Nam province, and one was found in Thua Thien Hue province, said a disaster official who identified himself only as Tuan.

    ``More than a hundred thousand people are facing food shortages as many have lost all their food in a string of flooding for more than a month now,'' said Van Phu Chinh, head of the Flood and Storm Control Department for central region.

    Military helicopters had dropped food to people stranded in isolated areas up to two days ago, but receding flood waters have allowed trucks to move into the areas, he said.

    At least 86 people have died this month from flood-related incidents and a total of 227 since early October.

    In Khanh Hoa province, where two people drowned, authorities intensified their search for hundreds of crocodiles that were set loose from a farm by the weekend's floods.

    Soldiers, militiamen and local residents have captured or killed 80 crocodiles, but an unknown number continue to pose a danger to villagers in the province, said Nguyen Nhu Long of the provincial military command.

    Nearly 190,000 houses were submerged in the central region, according to the national flood and storm control department.

    Vietnam is prone to floods and typhoons which kill hundreds of people each year.



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