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Saigon roads turn into ‘rivers,’ affecting flights

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 16:32 GMT+7

A series of rains on Monday have transformed many roads and streets in Ho Chi Minh City into ‘streams’ and ‘rivers,’ paralyzing numerous flights to and from the city.

Heavy inundations were recorded on streets in District 2 as well as in Binh Tan and Tan Binh Districts, and those around Hoang Van Thu Park, after the downpours yesterday afternoon.

The rains also caused a section of about 100 meters of Nguyen Van Qua Street in Dong Hung Thuan Ward, District 12, to be severely flooded.

The street was inundated despite a recent investment of VND163 billion (US$7.27 million) by local authorities in August 2015 to upgrade the drainage system.

According to local residents, the upgrade has proven ineffective in controlling flooding.

Answering Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper questions, a spokesperson for the Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program (SCFC) said that the project is still in progress, and that such flooding was understandable.

The city can expect to have 40 streets flooded this year, the center said, citing 2015 flood data.

Specifically, rain of 50 millimeters or less has the potential to flood 23 streets, including Truong Cong Dinh, Bau Cat, and Ba Van in Tan Binh; Ho Ngoc Lam in Binh Tan; Nguyen Xi and Ung Van Khiem in Binh Thanh District; and more.

Rainfall of over 50 millimeters will flood 17 more, namely Luong Dinh Cua in District 2, Le Duc Tho in Go Vap District, Kha Van Can in Thu Duc District, and others, according to the SCFC.

Monday’s rain also affected flights to and from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, according to airlines.

Of these, six Vietnam Airlines flights were delayed while eight Vietjet Air flights had to circle Ho Chi Minh City’s flight zone for 30 to 60 minutes as they waited for better weather conditions.

One Jetstar Pacific flight was also forced to touch down at an alternate airport and wait for better conditions to return to Tan Son Nhat.

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