Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — At least 54 people died, 31 others were injured and 39 are missing due to heavy rains and floods triggered by a tropical depression hitting northern and central localities in recent days, according to National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention.
Hòa Bình, Thanh Hóa and Nghệ An provinces suffered the most with 17, 14 and nine deaths respectively.
The devastating rains also flooded more than 30,000 homes nationwide, with 189 collapsing.
The water level of many rivers has reportedly exceeded water levels from floods in previous years. There were more than 60 incidents of landslide, erosion or dykes breaking in Thanh Hóa, Hà Nam, Nam Định provinces and Hà Nội.
A 10-m section of the dyke of the Bùi River broke on Thursday in Chương Mỹ District, Hà Nội, flooding a large farming area and affecting more than 200 households.
A section of the Vinh river’s dyke from Tân Phượng Bridge to Cầu Đen in Nghe An Province has sunk and is in danger of breaking. Forces were mobilised yesterday to reinforce the dyke.
If the dyke breaks, it will affect more than 1,000 households with more than 4,000 residents, said Nguyễn Hoài An, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vinh City.
Nearly 180,000 cattle and poultry died nationwide due to floods including nearly 6,000 drowned pigs at a farm in Yên Định District, Thanh Hóa Province.
According to the Việt Nam Road Administration, floods also caused landslides and huge damage to transport infrastructure in northern and central regions, with blockages bringing traffic to a standstill on many roads.
The train route connecting Hà Nội and Lào Cai Province re-opened yesterday morning after three days of closure due to a landslide that buried seven carriages of a cargo train on Monday night at Lâm Giang Station in the northern mountainous province of Yên Bái’s Lâm Giang Commune.
Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình yesterday inspected flood response work in Nghĩa Lộ town, Văn Chấn District, Yên Bái Province.
Six people have died so far in the province due to the floods. Seven were injured and 16 are missing. As many as 73 houses were washed away with estimated property damage exceeding VNĐ500 billion (US$21.7million).
Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình said that the rains and floods in the upcoming time will be complicated, ordering local authorities to follow weather conditions to evacuate residents out of dangerous areas.
Nguyễn Phúc Vinh, former lecturer of Construction University in Hà Nội told Lao Động (Labourers) newspaper that in the historic flood, with flood waters higher than from the 1980 floods, over the past few days, weather forecasting agencies only focused on forecasting typhoons and tropical depressions, not rain.
Because agencies were passive in forecasting rain volume, water was not released from Hòa Bình reservoir in a timely manner. Opening the eight gates of Hòa Bình reservoir and stopping power generation at Sơn La hydropower plant was the right thing to do, as otherwise, reservoirs would have broken, flooding Hà Nội and neighboring provinces, he said.
If the accurate rain volume had been forecasted, reservoirs would have released water earlier and more slowly, reducing the risk of floods in the lowlands. The poor forecast resulted in sudden water release which surprised residents. They did not have time to evacuate, he said.
In another development, named Khanun, is moving towards the East Sea, the sea’s 11th this year.
The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said it was gaining central wind strength of level 12 (115-135km per hour).
The centre also said the water level of the Hoàng Long, Thao and Hồng (Red) rivers was down yesterday morning.
The northern mountainous provinces of Hà Giang, Tuyên Quang, Cao Bằng, Yên Bái and Hòa Bình have been put on high alert for landslides. — VNS