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Flooding threatens to close HCM City airport

Update: October, 20/2015 - 10:05
HCM City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport faces the risk of closure as flooding threatens a power station supplying electricity to air traffic control facilities. — Photo nld.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport faces the risk of closure as flooding threatens a power station supplying electricity to air traffic control facilities.

Pham Vu Cuong, deputy director of the airport, said some areas in the airport were under 20cm of water following rains on October 9, and the power station was flooded.

Sandbags were used to keep the water out of some facilities, he said.

Drainage problems in nearby canals, nearly half of which are used to dump rubbish, have been blamed for the inundation.

"The canals help drain 50 per cent of the water that falls on the runways, but they have not been dredged for a long time, resulting in serious flooding," Cuong told the Giao Thong (Transport) newspaper.

The airport management has urged city authorities to take action quickly to deal with flooding that could force a temporary closure of Tan Son Nhat, he said.

The director of the Southern Airport Authority, Tran Doan Mau, said ditch A41, which connects Phan Thuc Duyen and Cong Hoa Streets in Tan Binh District, drains 50 per cent of water from the apron, and so when it was blocked, it caused an inundation that threatened the power station supplying electricity to the command centre of the airport, Mau said.

According to the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, the ditch was filled with things like discarded porcelain sinks and sanitaryware to flower pots and sacks filled with waste.

The banks of the drainage have been encroached upon by many buildings like the Aviation Club, which is located at the junction of Phan Thuc Duyen and Giai Phong streets.

The airport management has asked the People's Committee to clear the buildings and dredge the ditch.

It wants the local administration to regulate the standard sizes of the waterway, mouths, and banks of the ditch, and ensure people living nearby do not throw rubbish into it.

Near the end of the ditch are two mouths both half filled with rubbish and with heaps of garbage, including slag, and trash bags above them.

On either bank of the drainage system are piles of firewood, timber, and construction materials used for building the houses.

Phan Duy Niem, 60, of Thang Long Street in Tan Binh, told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that the ditch is too small and often filled with rubbish.

Since it is not dredged regularly, the waterway usually gets clogged during heavy rains, he added.

"We have called for converting the ditch into a bigger culvert so that it will not be affected by rubbish dumped by households. The proposals have been sent to National Assembly and HCM City People's Council delegates, but nothing has been done." — VNS

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