Flash floods have caused widespread destruction in Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La, Cao Bang and Lai Chau provinces, leaving 26 people dead, 15 missing and 27 injured.

A bridge damaged by floods is seen in Mu Cang Chai district, in northern Yen Bai province, Vietnam, August 4, 2017.
A bridge damaged by floods is seen in Mu Cang Chai district, in northern Yen Bai province, Vietnam, August 4, 2017.

Floods and landslides caused by torrential rains have killed 26 people and left 15 missing in Vietnam's mountainous north, authorities said Monday.

The floods have also caused damage estimated at more than $41 million (940 billion dong), according to the government's disaster agency.

Since the start of August, flash floods have caused widespread destruction in the provinces of Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La, Cao Bang and Lai Chau, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said in a statement.

"Twenty-six people are dead, 15 missing and 27 others were injured," it said adding that the search for those missing had been hampered by damage to roads from floods and landslides.

"We are fixing roads, water systems and other infrastructure to make sure people can resettle," the Hanoi-based disaster control office said in its report.

This picture taken on August 4, 2017 shows an elementary school classroom filled with mud and debris after flash floods hit the mountainous town of Mu Cang Chai in the northern province of Yen Bai. (AFP)
This picture taken on August 4, 2017 shows an elementary school classroom filled with mud and debris after flash floods hit the mountainous town of Mu Cang Chai in the northern province of Yen Bai. (AFP)

According to witnesses in Yen Bai province, floods tore through villages on Thursday night, carrying with them large boulders from the mountains.

"I told my wife, children and grandchildren to rush out to the side of the hill," resident Pham Xuan Thanh told online newspaper Phap Luat.

"In a very short time, dozens of houses in our village were washed away."

State media ran pictures of villages swamped by mud.

Throughout the northwestern area more than 650 houses were destroyed and damaged, hundreds of hectares of crops lost and roads wrecked, authorities said.

Around 235 people were reported dead and missing last year due to flooding and bad weather in Vietnam. Authorities estimated the losses at $1.7 billion.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies