Most of victims were swept away by floods while traveling in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien Hue provinces, the National Steering Committee on Storm and Flood Control reported.

"This is the biggest flood I have seen in my life," said Nguyen Thi Thanh, 70, a villager at Huong Khe district of Ha Tinh. "I had to stay in a jackfruit tree all night until rescuers found me."

Some 400 to 968 millimeters of rain fell on central Vietnam since Thursday, officials said, with some parts of Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces reporting up to 2 metres.

More then 100,000 houses were submerged and 68,000 people had been evacuated to safe places.

At least two hydropower dams were reportedly damaged, along with roads and railways in Ha Tinh province. At least 12 trains with more than 3,000 passengers were stuck at stations.

"We are not sure when we can resume train operations, but we would start fixing damaged rails as soon as the water subsides," Nguyen Huu Tuyen, head of Vietnam Railway's transport business department said.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said typhoon Megi, the incoming tropical storm that formed near the Philippines, was predicted to be 300 kilometres east of the Paracel Archipelago in the South China Sea by Wednesday morning.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - October 18, 2010