Many of the victims in nine provinces were swept away by the flood waters, said the national flood and storm control department in Hanoi.

Since Friday, 129 centimetres (52 inches) of rain have inundated 62,000 houses between northern Thanh Hoa province and the central-region city of Danang, it said.

More than 900 soldiers and militia members had been mobilised to help evacuate 34,500 people to safer areas, the flood and storm agency said.

State-run TV showed pictures of one-storey houses flooded to their rooftops while electricity poles and trees were seen uprooted in towns.

Weather forecasters said that although the rains had eased, water levels of rivers in flooded areas were still rising to alarming levels.

The state Vietnam News reported that a hydroelectric dam in Quang Binh province was in danger of being breached.

Vietnam News said landslides and heavy downpours blocked roads, including Highway 9 which is part of a key east-west economic corridor for the Mekong region.

More than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of crops in Thua Thien-Hue province were swept away and hundreds of hectares of acquaculture facilities flooded, it said.

Vietnam is frequently hit by tropical storms and flooding at this time of the year.

Agence France Presse - October 5, 2010