Heavy rain from a tropical depression hit northern and north-central Vietnam, causing flooding that halted traffic in the capital Hanoi and sparked warnings of landslides on Thursday.
Some Hanoi districts recorded up to 250 mm (10 inches) of rain on Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Centre.
The premier’s office directed provincial authorities to take action to protect residential areas that faced a high risk of landslides and flash floods.
Downpours have pounded Hanoi since early Thursday morning, submerging streets, Reuters witnesses said, with traffic turning chaotic at intersections and flood waters rising calf-high in some districts.
Video on local media showed cars and motorcycles abandoned in Hanoi streets, while footage of northern provinces showed fast-flowing, mud-brown water, and schools and homes damaged and soaked in flood water.
A conference on Thursday morning organised by Eurocham was delayed by about two hours because speakers, including the EU ambassador to Vietnam, could not reach the venue due to the flooded roads, according to participants.
Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding, with 451 people killed or missing last year in natural disasters such as floods and landslides, according to government statistics.
Flooding has become more frequent in Hanoi as the road and drainage systems struggle to accommodate a rapidly growing population.