At least 178,000 houses have been submerged, nearly 7,000 hectares of crops affected and nearly 690,000 poultry and cattle killed or swept away.

According to media reports and an aid organization, severe floods and landslides triggered by weeks of heavy rainfall have killed at least 105 people in central Vietnam and “flooded” five million people.

About a third of the dead were soldiers whose barracks had been buried in deadly mudslides last week, Reuters news agency reported.

At least 27 people are still missing, the agency said. Among them are 15 construction workers who were also affected by a landslide.

At least 178,000 homes were submerged and nearly 7,000 hectares (17,297 acres) of crops were affected.

Almost 690,000 poultry and farm animals were killed or swept away.

State television showed people sitting on rooftops waiting for rescue workers to help in Quang Binh province, where floods have blocked roads and cut electricity.

“I haven’t eaten since yesterday,” an elderly woman told VTV from her roof. “We have nothing. No food, no phone. Nothing.”

Army officers carry a body recovered from a landslide in Quang Tri Province [Tran Le Lam/VNA via AP]Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, president of the Vietnam Red Cross Society, described the floods as “some of the worst we have seen in decades”.

“They are dealing a staggering blow to the livelihoods of millions of people already affected by the troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said in a statement. “Everywhere we look, houses, streets and infrastructure are submerged.”

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) said five million people were affected by the “catastrophic floods” and hundreds of thousands were in dire need of shelter.

“These floods are the last straw and will bring millions of people further to the verge of poverty,” Christopher Rassi, a senior IFRC official, said in a statement.

Tuesday’s warning came as authorities in Vietnam prepared for another tropical storm.

The Vietnamese weather agency said it expected tropical storm Saudel to hit its central region on Saturday, bringing with it more intense rainfall that could worsen the worst flooding in years.