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People struggle with year’s heaviest rain-caused inundation in Ho Chi Minh City

Sunday, October 01, 2017, 11:16 GMT+7

Numerous people had to wade through 43 flooded streets in inner districts on their way home, as a downpour kept pouring down for hours in the late afternoon and lasted well into the evening.

Despite its rainfall being less than 100mm in volume, the prolonged rain caused what was considered by the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Drainage Co. to be the rainy season’s most serious inundation so far.

Forecasters said the rainy season is now at its peak in the city.

The downpour, coupled with a thunderstorm and heavy lightning, turned streets in District 1, District 3, District 5, District 10, Tan Binh District and Thu Duc District into a ‘sea.’

The most serious inundation was experienced by commuters and residents on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District and La Xuan Oai Street in District 9, where the floodwater rose to 0.4-0.7m.

Numerous vehicles broke down on Huynh Tan Phat Street in District 7 in the floodwater reaching the depth of half a motorbike wheel.

Sections spanning 1km long on Nguyen Van Qua Street in District 12 were also flooded, with the water pouring into residents’ homes and causing the engines of many vehicles to fail.

Commuters faced the same condition on Le Van Viet, Duong Dinh Hoi and Do Xuan Hop Streets in District 9, as well as Nguyen Xi and Ung Van Khiem Streets in Binh Thanh District.

The downpour also uprooted and sent an age-old tree tumbling on a car on Dong Khoi Street in the downtown area, causing serious damage to the automobile.

On Nguyen Huu Canh Street, a submersion hot spot in Binh Thanh District, where the addition of an anti-flood pump system had been hailed as a success after effectively clearing the road of all floodwaters in just 15 minutes, the floodwater remained as high as half a motorcycle wheel well until 7:00 pm, resulting in vehicle breakdowns.

The pump system, put in place by Quang Trung Industrial Group, has a capacity of up to 90,000 m³ per hour.

The pump operators did not turn on the device until 7:20 pm.

Around 8:00 pm, the pump managed to clear a large amount of floodwater but many spots remained more than 20 cm submerged.

The street was not completely drained until 8:30 pm.

According to several workers, the system could not be operated until the street got heavily submerged in order to test out its efficiency during the pilot basis.

Leaders of Quang Trung Industrial Group had earlier claimed the system could completely drain Nguyen Huu Canh Street within half an hour.

If the rain had been worsened by high tides on the Saigon River, it would have taken the ‘super-pump’ much longer to empty the street, some said.

According to the Southern Meteorological Station, the rain did not completely let up in several areas at 9:00 pm, with the precipitation recorded in Nha Be District and Tan Binh District being 76mm and 75mm.

The anti-pump system was operated during a downpour on Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Ho Chi Minh City on September 30, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The anti-pump system is operated during the downpour on Nguyen Huu Canh Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Serious inundation on Nguyen Huu Canh Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Serious inundation on Nguyen Huu Canh Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Serious inundation on Nguyen Huu Canh Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Serious inundation on Nguyen Huu Canh Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Two construction workers wade in the rising rainwater. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Two construction workers wade in the rising rainwater. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters push their motorbikes whose engines ‘die’ in the floodwater. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters push their motorbikes whose engines ‘die’ in the floodwater. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Two people struggle during the downpour that submerged Nguyen Van Linh Avenue in District 7.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
Two people struggle during the downpour that submerged Nguyen Van Linh Avenue in District 7. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters have great difficulty traveling on Nguyen Van Linh Avenue, District 7. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters have great difficulty traveling on Nguyen Van Linh Avenue, District 7. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Gridlocked traffic is seen on Nguyen Huu Tho Street, District 7. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Gridlocked traffic is seen on Nguyen Huu Tho Street, District 7. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Inundation also hit the section around the fences of a metro project in front of Ben Thanh Market, District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Inundation also hit the section around the fences of a metro project in front of Ben Thanh Market, District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Gusts during the torrential rain blow off a big bough and break an electricity wire on Pasteur Street, District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Gusts during the torrential rain blow off a big bough and break an electricity wire on Pasteur Street, District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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