Wednesday, October 17 2018

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Mekong delta fights flooding from high tides

Update: October, 13/2018 - 09:00
Mậu Thân Street in Cần Thơ City’s Ninh Kiều District is flooded during high tides. – VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liêm
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – Local authorities in the Mekong Delta are taking measures to mitigate the impact of flooding caused by high tides during the annual flood season in the delta.

The delta’s provinces and Cần Thơ City have been severely affected by high tides over the past few days.

In Cần Thơ City, the municipal People’s Committee on Thursday held a meeting with the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development about measures to deal with flooding and high tides.

Nguyễn Tấn Nhơn, deputy director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said high tides combined with heavy rains and floodwaters from the Mekong River had eroded many embankments in outlying areas and submerged streets in inner areas up to 50 cm deep in water.

To deal with the flooding, the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has set up search and rescue teams to prevent and control natural disasters. The teams are equipped with boats and other equipment for their tasks.

Trương Quang Hoài, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and its Sub-department of Irrigation should strictly monitor hydrology forecasting information and pumping stations to withdraw floodwaters in farming areas, strengthen weak embankments, and prepare agricultural machines to harvest autumn-winter rice.

Local authorities should carry out comprehensive measures to prevent drowning by setting up safe sites for children in flooded areas and taking students to school to ensure their safety, he said.

Floods have caused damage to 113 metres of embankments in Cần Thơ this year, affecting 37ha of rice fields and 91ha of vegetables and cash crops, reducing yields, according to the city’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue.

High tides have also caused 8.5 tonnes of fish and other aquatic species in ponds to escape into rivers and canals.

In Bạc Liêu Province, high tides have inundated many areas, including more than 10km of National Highway No. 1 in Giá Rai Town and Hòa Bình District since October 6.

Phạm Văn Tới, deputy head of the Giá Rai Town Economic Division, said the highway had been submerged deeply two times a day when the tides were high, blocking traffic.

High tides have also entered freshwater areas, threatening rice fields and other vegetable planting areas, he said.

Bạc Liêu Province’s People’s Committee has instructed local people to upgrade their homes’ foundations, and strengthen weak embankments.

In Tiền Giang Province, high tides have flooded many areas in Cái Bè District and Mỹ Tho City, leaving many fruit orchards submerged.

Trần Thanh Nhàn of Cái Bè District’s Hòa Khánh Commune said his family had used soil to build embankments around his fruit orchard over the past few days.

“If an embankment is broken, I can’t do anything because the water level outside the embankment is about one metre higher than inside it,” he said.

The high tides have been the highest seen over the past 10 years, according to local farmers in Hòa Khánh.

The flooding level of the Mekong River in the delta is declining and will increase again on October 18 when high tides are forecast, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting. – VNS

 

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