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Floods at record high in Ho Chi Minh City

Monday, October 21, 2013, 12:09 GMT+7
Floods at record high in Ho Chi Minh City
Floodwater submerges Luong Dinh Cua Street in District 2, breaking down numerous motorbikes on October 20, 2013

Record-breaking flood waters reaching 1.64 meters assaulted Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, submerging many districts in the outskirts of the city and causing much disturbance to locals, andthe Southern Hydro-meteorological Station reported.   The water level measured 1.64 meters in the Phu An area of the Saigon River, 0.02 meters higher than that of last year.

This morning the water level was 1.58 meters but it will increase possibly to 1.65 meters this afternoon, so the inundation will continue today, the Station warned.

In 2009 the water level reached 1.56 meters, which slightly declined to 1.55 meters a year later but rose again to 1.58 meters in 2011. It continued to increase to 1.62 meters in 2012, the Station reported. At 2 pm on October 20, floodwater on Alley 79 Phu Dinh Quay, Ward 16, District 8 rose to above 0.5 meters, causing many vehicles to break down and blocking the traffic in the area. In Binh Chieu Ward, Thu Duc District, flood waters rose to knee level, causing many local residents to stay in their homes for hygiene and safety reasons.  

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Serious flooding in Quarter 2, Binh Chieu Ward, Thu Duc District (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

In Alley 10, Ngo Chi Quoc Street, a 65-year-old woman, le Hogn Trang, used three pumps to remove water from her flooded house. “My family has experienced many sleepless nights due to floodwater that submerged everything.” The same situation was seen in many areas, such as on Luong Dinh Cua Street (District 2), the Phu Dinh Quay (District 8), Bui Huu Nghia and Ngo Tat To Streets (Binh Thanh District), and Hiep Binh Chanh residential area (Thu Duc District). According to the city’s Anti-Flooding Program Operating Center, the city has declared the top 10 areas that are afflicted with 1.5 meters of water (alarm level 3) when flooding is at its worst. They are: Huynh Tan Phat Street (District 7), Van Than and Lo Gom streets (District 6), Binh Quoi and Ngo Tat To Streets (Binh Thanh District), Kha Van Can Street (Thu Duc District), Ho Hoc Lam Street (Binh Tan District),  Luong Dinh Cua Street (District 2), and Pham The Hien Street and the Phu Dinh Quay (District 8).

ImageView.aspx?ThumbnailID=665867Many residents in Thu Duc District's Linh Chieu Ward have to use pumps to get water out of their houses (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

Water-regulating reservoirs needed One cause of yesterday’s flooding was an ongoing cold front that forced the northeast winds to blow more water to river mouths, said Le Thi Xuan Lan, an expert at the Southern Hydro-meteorological Station. Meanwhile, Prof. Dr Le Huy Ba blamed the flooding in HCMC for the leveling of many ponds, lakes, river branches, and canals in the city. Leveling destroys potential repositories for excess water and inhibits natural drainage, the scientist said. “25-30 percent of canals in the city have been filled up and many construction projects have leveled swamps, causing a loss of areas that can hold water,” he explained.

He suggested that the city authorities build large water-regulating reservoirs to create a space in which water might be contained.  Regarding this issue, Do Tan Long, head of the city’s Anti-Flooding Program Operating Center, said that concerned agencies are working on a plan to make such reservoirs available.

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A house is heavily submerged during the flooding  in HCMC on October 20, 2013 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

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Severe inundation near the Thu Duc Market in HCMC (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

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