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Foreign travelers stuck for 4 hours on northern Vietnam pass due to flooding, landslide

Foreign travelers stuck for 4 hours on northern Vietnam pass due to flooding, landslide

Monday, June 10, 2024, 17:26 GMT+7
Foreign travelers stuck for 4 hours on northern Vietnam pass due to flooding, landslide
This image shows the group of six foreigners who had to stop their motorbike tour on the Ma Pi Leng Pass in northern Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province because of landslides and rockslides caused by prolonged torrential rains on June 9, 2024. Photo: Tran Van Quan

A group of six foreign tourists were trapped for some four hours on Ma Pi Leng Pass in northern Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province due to downpour-triggered flooding, landslides, and rockslides on Sunday before being taken out of the dangerous area on trucks.

As shown in a clip spreading on social media on Sunday, a group of six foreigners who traveled to Ha Giang on motorbikes with their tour guide Tran Van Quan had to halt their journey at noon on the same day.

They were trapped as the road in the middle of the pass was submerged in floodwaters and obstructed by landslides caused by prolonged torrential rains.

Speaking to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper after escorting the group to their homestay that evening, 26-year-old Quan said he led the group of six foreign travelers on his motorbike. They departed from the province’s Dong Van District just after 10:00 am.

Four of the foreigners were ridden by four locals on four motorbikes while the two others were on another bike.

After surpassing the Ma Pi Leng Pass, part of National Highway 4C, Quan and the group reached the Nho Que River boat wharf in Meo Vac District more than one hour later.

“While we were enjoying the river tour, it suddenly rained so heavily that everyone hurriedly packed up their things to return,” Quan said.

Quan led the group to come back to the pass, where they saw the steep cliff on one side and the Tu San canyon hundreds of meters deep on the other side, with the Nho Que River flowing swiftly below.

This photo shows a motorbike of the group of six foreigners who were stuck on the Ma Pi Leng Pass in northern Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province due to the land and rock slides caused by prolonged torrential rain on June 9, 2024. Photo: Tran Van Quan

This photo shows a motorbike of the group of six foreigners who were stuck on the Ma Pi Leng Pass in northern Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province due to the landslides and rockslides caused by prolonged torrential rains on June 9, 2024. Photo: Tran Van Quan

As the group reached a bend of the pass, they could not travel on the motorbikes anymore because the fast-flowing and strong rainwater flows caused slides of soil and rocks.

The entire group stopped and moved to one side of the road while trying to keep themselves and their bikes balanced amid rough water flows.

“Though I’m a local, I was scared seeing the fierce flooding," Quan narrated.

“A year ago, a car driver died in this area when a big rock fell on his vehicle during a rockslide.”

The tour guide said he repeatedly asked the six foreign travelers to keep calm while waiting for him to seek help from local authorities.

At that time, about 20 other travelers were in the same situation as Quan’s group.

After Quan managed to contact Meo Vac District police, he was asked to seek a temporary shelter for all the foreigners as relevant agencies were finding it hard to access that area due to rising floodwaters mixed with a large volume of mud interrupting traffic.

At 5:00 pm, Quan saw some trucks traveling through the area and he then asked the truck drivers to transport all of them, along with their bikes, out of the dangerous area where they had been stuck for about four hours.

Quan later continued to guide the group to travel on the motorbikes to visit some other attractions in Ha Giang before returning to their homestay in Dong Van.

“After the moment of dread, the six foreigners said they had had a memorable experience during their trip to Ha Giang,” Quan claimed.

This image shows the trunk of a truck that helped transport the six tourist foreigners and their tour guide, along with all their motorbikes, out of the area of land and rock slides on the Ma Pi Leng Pass in northern Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province on June 9, 2024. Photo: Tran Van Quan

This image shows the trunk of a truck that helped transport the six foreign tourists and their tour guide, along with all their motorbikes, out of the area of landslides and rockslides on the Ma Pi Leng Pass in northern Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province on June 9, 2024. Photo: Tran Van Quan

Nguyen Huy Sac, chairman of the Meo Vac District administration, told Tuoi Tre on Saturday that the landslides and rockslides on Ma Pi Leng Pass had been effectively remedied, with no casualties reported.

Local authorities have advised that tourists be careful when traveling during the rainy season, especially on passes in torrential rains or when it is dark or foggy, and keep themselves updated on weather forecasts, Sac said.

When encountering problems, travelers should stay calm and immediately contact local authorities or the nearest residences for assistance, he said.

The National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting said that Vietnam's northern provinces would continue to have moderate to heavy rain, with rainfall ranging from 30mm to over 200mm.

The center also warned about the risk of flash floods and landslides in some northern provinces including Ha Giang, Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Cao Bang, Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang, and Yen Bai.

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Vinh Tho - Hong Quang / Tuoi Tre News

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