Prolonged rain causes flooding across central Vietnam

10/10/2020

Tania Maria Joy

Quang Nam, Quang Tri, Hue and Da Nang have been hit by severe flooding following torrential rains and many residential areas have been cut off. The entire central region has been battered by downpours since Tuesday as cold spell came in contact with the tropical turbulence.

Quang Nam, home to the ancient town of Hoi An and the My Son Sanctuary, received 188mm of rain in the past day. Rainfall of 180mm in a day is considered to be heavy.

Many parts of Hoi An, a famous tourist destination, are submerged.

Nguyen The Hung, vice chairman of the town said the water level reached 1.3 meters on Thursday morning, 0.3 meters above flood danger level 1, prompting authorities to suspend all tourism-related activities.

Quang Tri, which has the historic Hien Luong Bridge and beautiful beaches were hit by up to 409 mm of rain in the last two days.

Some residential areas in Lao Bao Town are under three meters of water. Nguyen Khiem, a resident of Lao Bao, said: “The floodwaters started to rise from Wednesday night. The water level is 0.5m higher than during the historic floods of 2019”.

In Huong Hoa District 1,100 families have been evacuated to safer areas, but local authorities said four people have swept away and remained missing as of Thursday.

Many roads in Quang Tri have been blocked by severe landslides.

Quang Binh, home to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and the world’s largest cave Son Doong, received rainfall of up to 338mm in a day. Many places are inundated and students have been told to stay at home to ensure their safety.

The national park in Bo Trach District has closed itself off to tourists since Wednesday due to rising water levels in some rivers.

Thua Thien-Hue Province, which boasts the popular tourist town Hue, got up to 500mm of rainfall in the past day.

Prolonged downpours and heavy discharge by dams flooded thousands of homes in the province’s downstream areas.

Many streets in Da Nang, a popular tourist city, were under 40cm of water on Wednesday.

Central localities from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai provinces should expect heavy rains of 330-400mm a day until Sunday according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. There could be 11-13 storms and tropical depression forming over the East Sea this year, half of them hitting Vietnam, meteorologists have warned.

Its long coastline makes Vietnam particularly vulnerable to destructive storms and flooding.

Natural disasters, mostly floods and landslides triggered by storms, killed 132 people and injured 207 others last year. Last month Storm Noul, the fifth tropical storm this year in the East Sea, killed six people.

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