HANOI, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Heavy rain and flood over the past eight days have claimed 17 lives in central Vietnam, according to the Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on Thursday.

Vietnam's central Binh Dinh province, some 880 km south of capital Hanoi, has been the hardest hit with nine people killed, 20 communes isolated, over 12,000 hectares of rice totally lost and thousands of cattle, poultries washed away.

Meanwhile, in central Quang Ngai province, some 730 km south of Hanoi, as many as eight people were killed in flood and downpour. Some 850 houses were damaged while over 800 households were evacuated to safe places, said the department on its website.

In an urgent document sent to local authorities on Thursday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the prolonged rain remained complicated.

In order to deal with the situation and mitigate damage, as well as overcome consequence and stabilize lives for people, Phuc urged provincial people's committees and relevant ministries to coordinate in instruction and implementation of response measures.