Viet Nam News
HỘI AN — Water in the Hoài River rose up to flood two streets – Bạch Đằng and Nguyễn Thái Học – in the ancient city of Hội An and villages on the Hoài River banks yesterday.
Water 1.5m-2m deep also stopped traffic, stranding thousands of residents and tourists traveling on the other sides of the Hoài River bank. Most tourists and local residents had to use boats to travel from the flood-affected villages and hotels to Hội An’s market.
Restaurants and houses on the pedestrian Nguyễn Phúc Chu Street, night market, Sculpture Park, An Hội Bridge, Bạch Đằng and Nguyễn Thái Học streets were submerged in water.
A return boat trip cost VNĐ200,000 (US$8.8) was the only way for residents to cross the Hoài River.
“Water rose up very fast from midnight. The An Hội bridge is under water and can only be recognised by its handrail,” said Trần Văn Sung, 73.
“I closed my restaurant on Bạch Đằng Street on the Hoài River and moved all the furniture upstairs as water came in and rose up to cover half the door,” Sung said but conceded that the flooding this time has yet to reach its record roof-top levels.
He lamented the cost of having to clean and redecorate the restaurant after floods, as well as painting doors and windows.
But not everyone is despondent over the recurring flooding.
Local residents travel by boat from Hội An to villages on the Hoài River bank. VNS Photo Công Thành
Nguyễn Thu Hoài, a resident of Triêm Tây Village, said she earns a lot of money from rowing boats for tourists and local residents from the ancient town along flooded streets and markets.
“I cand earn VNĐ200,000 for each boat trip. Many residents in flooded areas on the Hoài River bank ring me to carry them to the market for food. It’s not my main job, but it’s helpful for everybody during flood days,” Hoài said.
The city’s traffic police has warned all residents and tourists to wear life jackets for safety and only travel by boat when it’s very necessary.
Deputy chairman of the city’s People’s Committee said floods created difficulties for residents on the other side of the Hoài River (opposite Hội An city). But had not affected tourism services in the city’s old quarter.
Usuda Reiko, a Japanese resident of Hội An, said water had submerged the river road in Cẩm Nam Ward from last night.
“I cannot go out today. I just sit on the second floor. I closed my café, and I still have sufficient supplies for me and my staff for several days. For me it is the worst flood. In the 2009 one I wasn’t living on the river side,” Reiko said, adding that flood already occurred twice this year.
An Hội bridge, spanning the Hoài River in Hội An, is only recognized by its handrail.
According to the latest report from the Centre of Flood and Storm Prevention in the Central and Central Highlands regions, rising rivers from Thừa Thiên-Huế to Quảng Ngãi provinces reached its peak on Wednesday night and has been receding since.
The centre warned, however, that the Quảng Trị, Bình Định and lower Thu Bồn River in Quảng Nam Province will rise within 12 hours.
Flooding also was recorded in 27 districts in Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định and Phú Yên provinces, and serious flooding is expected from Quảng Nam to Phú Yên within several days.
Three people were killed in Thừa Thiên-Huế and six injured in Phú Yên Province between December 11 and 15.
Khánh Hòa and Phú Yên provinces suffered a total loss of VNĐ83.8 billion ($3.7 million) in flood damages. — VNS