Central Vietnam suffers prolonged rains, which causes flooding

Tuesday - 13/10/2020 14:05
The entire central region has been battered by downpours since Tuesday as a cold spell came in contact with tropical turbulence. Quang Nam, home to the ancient town of Hoi An and the My Son Sanctuary, received 188 mm of rain in the past day. Rainfall of 180 mm in a day is considered heavy.
Central Vietnam suffers prolonged rains, which causes flooding
Many parts of Hoi An, a famous tourist destination, are submerged.

Nguyen The Hung, vice chairman of the town, said the water level reached 1.3 meters on Thursday morning, 0.3 meters above flood danger level 1, prompting authorities to suspend all tourism-related activities.

Quang Tri, which has the historic Hien Luong Bridge and beautiful beaches, was hit by up to 409 mm of rain in the last two days.

Some residential areas in Lao Bao Town are under three meters of water.

Nguyen Khiem, a resident of Lao Bao, said: “The floodwaters started to rise from Wednesday night. The water level is 0.5 m higher than during the historic floods of 2019.”

In Huong Hoa District 1,100 families have been evacuated to safer areas, but local authorities said four people were swept away and remain missing as of Thursday.

Many roads in Quang Tri have been blocked by severe landslides.

Quang Binh, home to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and the world’s largest cave Son Doong, received rainfall of up to 338 mm in a day. Many places are inundated and students have been told to stay at home to ensure their safety.

The national park in Bo Trach District has closed itself off to tourists since Wednesday due to rising water levels in some rivers.

Thua Thien-Hue Province, which boasts the popular tourist town Hue, got up to 500 mm of rainfall in the past day.

Prolonged downpours and heavy discharge by dams flooded thousands of homes in the province’s downstream areas.

Many streets in Da Nang, a popular tourist city, were under 40 cm of water on Wednesday.

Central localities from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai provinces should expect heavy rains of 330-400 mm a day until Sunday, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

There could be 11-13 storms and tropical depressions forming over the East Sea this year, half of them hitting Vietnam, meteorologists have warned.

Its long coastline makes Vietnam particularly vulnerable to destructive storms and flooding.

Natural disasters, mostly floods and landslides triggered by storms, killed 132 people and injured 207 others last year.

Last month Storm Noul, the fifth tropical storm this year in the East Sea, killed six people.

On Tuesday morning, water levels downstream of Sa Lung and Ben Hai rivers in Vinh Linh District, Quang Tri Province rose. Authorities subsequently warned residents to evacuate to safety at around 8 a.m.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

The elderly, women and children are brought to higher ground by dump trucks, rickshaws and carts.

Le Duc Kiem, chairman of Hien Thanh Commune in Quang Tri’s Vinh Linh District, said dozens of military and police personnel were dispatched to evacuate residents within the span of a day. Over 190 houses across the commune have been flooded, he added.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Evacuees in life vests and raincoats are transferred by motorboats. In certain areas, water levels have risen chest high.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

According to one local, rapid flooding that originated upstream of Sa Lung River in Quang Tri caught many off guard and swamped several homes. The third flood since October 6 lasted five days in total.

Since October 6, at least 49 people have died amid flooding in Quang Tri while around 53,000 homes across the province have been flooded.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Quang Binh residents were evacuated after Storm Saudel entered the East Sea on Tuesday night. Currently, supplies in Le Thuy District are waiting to be shipped to those trapped by flooding in the area.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

A man takes shelter on top of a roof to avoid floodwaters in Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Water levels in Quang Binh’s Le Thuy District have submerged many properties. Pictured is what remains of a house gate.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Le Thi Gam, from Quang Binh, says many of her belongings were swept away by floods.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

A family travels by makeshift raft across Kien Giang Town in Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

“We were going home yesterday when our boat got flipped, but luckily we were rescued. I still have my mother and my children at home, but the rains and floods have been getting stronger, so I’m very worried,” said a tearful Nguyen Thi Lieu, 40, from Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Rescuers sail to receive relief aids to bring back to flood-trapped communities in Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

In Cam Xuyen District of Ha Tinh Province, thousands of houses have been submerged underwater as of Tuesday, prompting the military and police to either evacuate residents or deliver supplies to waterlogged areas.

“The elderly, children and the sick are prioritized to be evacuated first,” said Nguyen Viet Tuan, deputy head of the general staff division of Nghe An Province’s Traffic Police Department, which has been called upon to support forces in the neighboring Ha Tinh amid the floods.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

“Floods came and ruined all our food, there’s nothing left to eat in the house. We just wish for some rice, instant noodles and water now,” said Bien Thi An, 49 in Ha Tinh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Nguyen Huu Quan, 53, of Ha Tinh has to enter his house via the roof. His herd of cattle has been safely evacuated to National Highway 1.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Hoang Thi Tam, 78, along with her children are evacuated thanks to the help of a local man.

“It’s been decades since I last saw such horrible floods. All I can see out there is white,” said the Ha Tinh woman.

Storm Saudel, which entered the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, Tuesday night, is expected to hit the region in the coming days. The storm’s possible impacts on the region have yet to be confirmed.

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