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Rising Mekong causes floods

Update: November, 03/2013 - 12:00

 

Many streets in Can Tho have been flooded with water.

This is because the level of the Mekong River has risen so much.

People in many areas of Viet Nam that are near the river have needed to check that the walls, which keep water out of their lands, are in good shape.

If water leaks through any holes in these walls, people will have to block them using sandbags.

Ninh Kieu Pier in Can Tho City submerged under flood waters. Water levels in the Tien and Hau rivers exceeded the highest level by 20-25cm.
Ninh Kieu Pier in Can Tho City submerged under flood waters. Water levels in the Tien and Hau rivers exceeded the highest level by 20-25cm. - VNA/VNS Duy Khuong Photo

CUU LONG DELTA (VNS)  — Heavy rains, high tides and flooding over the past days have inundated many areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's downstream provinces as well as Can Tho City.

In Can Tho, water levels in the Tien and Hau rivers, two tributaries of the Mekong River, exceeded the third warning level, the highest level, by 20-25cm on Sunday.

Many streets in Can Tho's central area have been submerged under more than 50cm of water over the past three days.

Flood waters have also inundated the National Highway 1 in Vinh Long Province's Binh Minh Town. In some sections, the highway is 40cm under water.

Water levels in the Delta's downstream areas will continue increasing over the next few days, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The centre has urged flood-affected provinces to strengthen dykes, prepare pumps and inspect dykes round the clock to ensure safety for people and property in the coming days.

The Can Tho People's Committee has organised inspection teams to check dykes in Cai Rang, Binh Thuy, Ninh Kieu and Phong Dien districts.

On Binh Thuy's Son Islet, for instance, a five-kilometre long dyke with a height of 2.5 metres has been strengthened, ensuring safety for 85 resident households.

Bui Xuan Dinh, head of the Binh Thuy Irrigation Station, said flood control forces are working round the clock to promptly address any breach in the dyke.

In Phong Dien, local authorities have prepared 3,500 sandbags for a similar eventuality.

The Vinh Long Province Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control has instructed local administrations to repair and upgrade rural roads, dykes and sluice gates to prevent further erosion caused by flood water.

Vinh Long now has six highly erosion-prone sites and 19,000ha of farming land threatened by high tides and floods.

In Tra Vinh Province, local authorities have strengthened dykes to protect houses and property in flood-prone areas this year.

In Hoa Tan Commune's An Loc Island in Cau Ke District, the commune has built a new 3,200m-long dyke and strengthened 1,500m of existing dykes to protect 100 households and 120ha of orchards.

The new measures have instilled confidence among the residents.

Nguyen Van Canh, who lives in Hoa Tan Commune, said that before the new dyke was built, people were constantly worried about the floods. "Now we do not worry and can focus on production." — VNS

GLOSSARY

Heavy rains, high tides and flooding over the past days have inundated many areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's downstream provinces as well as Can Tho City.

Inundated, in this case, means flooded.

Many large rivers split into many rivers close to where they enter the sea. They often cause the river course to form the shape of a triangle. In the Ancient Greek alphabet, this triangle shape represents the letter "D", which is called "Delta". Such areas are therefore known as deltas.

In Can Tho, water levels in the Tien and Hau rivers, two tributaries of the Mekong River, exceeded the third warning level, the highest level, by 20-25cm on Sunday.

Many smaller rivers flow into other, bigger rivers. These smaller rivers are called tributaries.

If the water levels exceeded the warning level, they were greater than the amount of water that alerts people to a warning.

Many streets in Can Tho's central area have been submerged under more than 50cm of water over the past three days.

If streets are submerged, they are underwater.

The centre has urged flood-affected provinces to strengthen dykes, prepare pumps and inspect dykes round the clock to ensure safety for people and property in the coming days.

A dyke is a wall that is specially made to keep water away.

On Binh Thuy's Son Islet, for instance, a five-kilometre long dyke with a height of 2.5 metres has been strengthened, ensuring safety for 85 resident households.

An islet is a very small island.

Bui Xuan Dinh, head of the Binh Thuy Irrigation Station, said flood control forces are working around the clock to promptly address any breach in the dyke.

Irrigation is the spraying of water on to crops as if it were rain.

Promptly means quickly.

A breach in a dyke is a gap in the dyke.

In Phong Dien, local authorities have prepared 3,500 sandbags for a similar eventuality.

An eventuality is how things end up happening.

The Vinh Long Province Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control has instructed local administrations to repair and upgrade rural roads, dykes and sluice gates to prevent further erosion caused by flood water.

Sluice gates are the gates that can be opened to let water out, or closed to keep water in.

Erosion happens when things such as wind or water eat away at a piece of land, causing it to change shape.

Vinh Long now has six highly erosion-prone sites and 19,000ha of farming land threatened by high tides and floods.

A place that is erosion-prone is very likely to face the problem of erosion.

Tides are the rising and falling of the sea level, twice a day because of the influence of the moon and the sun.

The new measures have instilled confidence among the residents.

When people feel confident, they feel they can face up to life's challenges.

WORKSHEET

Choose words from the box to fill in the gaps:

The __________ Mekong River travels an __________ distance through a number of different ____________ in south-east ________. It is 4350 __________ long, making it the __________ longest river in Asia. It is the __________ longest river in the world. After the __________, the Mekong spills into the East _________. The _________ River is a _____________ of the Mekong. The two rivers meet in _______.

Twelfth; Mighty; delta; Enormous; Sea; Countries; Nam Ou; Asia; tributary; Kilometres; Laos; Seventh

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2013



















The mighty Mekong River travels an enormous distance through a number of different countries in south-east Asia. It is 4350 kilometres long, making it the seventh longest river in Asia. It is the twelfth longest river in the world. After the delta, the Mekong spills into the East Sea. The Nam Ou River is a tributary of the Mekong. The two rivers meet in Laos.


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