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​Residents grapple with abnormal floods in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 15:46 GMT+7
​Residents grapple with abnormal floods in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Residents deal with floodwater in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on August 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Residents in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta are suffering immense losses as floods have occurred much earlier than usual, with greater severity compared to previous years.

An Giang and Kien Giang are the most heavily-damaged provinces as local embankments are not strong enough to fight against the currents.

According to Lu Cam Khuong, deputy director of the An Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, heavy downpours brought floodwater to the localities suddenly and very early compared to the past years.

The situation was much more serious than what the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research had previously reported, the official continued.

Water levels at Tha La and Tra Su Dams in Tinh Bien District have surged to 3.95 meters, while the embankments can only withstand 3.8 meters, Khuong elaborated.

In order to prevent dam failure, floodwater will be discharged prior to August 30, about 11 days ahead of schedule, he said, adding that this would affect local paddy farmers.

In Tri Ton District, inundation has damaged some 720 hectares of paddy fields.

Many farmers have lost their entire crops to the flood, while some others have managed to harvest just a small part of their crops left after the inundation.

Inundation in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Inundation in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Floods have not been this serious since 2013, thus local residents just failed to make proper preparations for the worst-case scenario, said Vo Thanh Tuan, chairman of Lac Quoi Commune in Tri Ton District.

Meanwhile, farmers in Kien Giang have spent a large amount of money protecting their crops from being submerged under floodwater.

Ha Thuc Quyen, a resident in Hon Dat District, said she had to pay VND1.3 million (US$56) per hectare to pump water out of her paddy field.

“My crops have been safe so far. However, I have spent nearly 80 percent of my profit coping with the inundation,” Quyen explained.

Local residents have also joined authorities in fortifying dams and embankments given the increasingly severe floods.

Forecasts showed that floodwater will continue rising and reach its peak between September 12 and 14.

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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