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Floods threaten southern homes

Update: January, 12/2009 - 00:00

Floods threaten southern homes

(13-01-2009)

Floods cause serious traffic jams last September on Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Binh Thanh District in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong

HCM CITY — Erosions caused by strong winds and high-tides in the resort town of Phan Thiet in central Binh Thuan Province have claimed more than 29 houses in a coastal ward over the weekend, and at least another 70 are at risk.

More than 300 people have had to be evacuated over the last few days to safer areas, the provincial authorities said.

According to the Phan Thiet Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention, erosion caused by the high tides continues to threaten hundreds of households in the two coastal wards of Phu Hai and Duc Long.

"The city and ward have delivered over 23,000 sandbags and 339sq.m of nylon nets to residents. The city has also spent nearly VND100 million (US$5,800) on strengthening embankments by planting cajeput stakes," said Duong Thi Dieu, chairwoman of Duc Long Ward’s People’s Committee.

Over the past week, the sea encroached nearly 20 metres inland on a 600metre stretch in Quarter 5 and completely destroyed 29 houses in Duc Long Ward. Another 70 houses are under threat, Dieu added.

She cautioned that everything "that the city and ward administrations and residents are doing is just a temporary solution. Long-term measures need to be taken into consideration to avoid a repeat of this situation next year."

Duc Long Ward’s Party Committee secretary Vo Van Ninh said the long-term measure would be to resettle all households, who live near the coast and on river banks which have been constantly threatened by rough weather.

Last year, 40 households from Quarter 5 were resettled in the new Tien Thanh residential area in Tien Loi Commune, and authorities plan to similarly relocate the remaining households.

Nearly 500 rescue workers, along with local residents, worked all Sunday to put up temporary embankments against the sea waves.

Earlier, three high tides in as many months had destroyed dozens of houses in Phu Hai, Duc Long and Ham Tien wards in Phan Thiet, evidence that erosion was posing a serious problem in the coastal town.

Tet for all

The provincial, town and ward administrations have focused efforts on helping affected residents stabilise their lives on the threshold of the nation’s most important festival, Tet.

Binh Thuan has adopted as its motto: "All families have Tet and all people enjoy Tet".

Duc Long Ward has pledged to arrange accommodation for every displaced household that has failed to build new home.

The Binh Thuan Fatherland Front has provided emergency support of VND1 million to each household, whose house has been destroyed.

Some organisations and companies from within and outside Binh Thuan have also contacted Phan Thiet and offered to support affected households.


HCM City flooding

Hundreds of residents had to run out their homes in a hurry in the early hours of Sunday morning as a major dyke breach caused massive flooding in Hiep Binh Phuoc Ward.

The breach in the Mieu Ho area of Thu Duc District was measured at 15-metres.

Flood waters rapidly inundated a residential area of 40ha affecting over 200 households along Streets No. 7 and 9, with levels as high as 1.3 metres in some places.

Many fishing ponds, apricot gardens, paddy fields and other properties were also submerged.

Workers at the Nhon Hoa Scales Company had to sleep on the staircase after their rented apartments were completely flooded.

Tables, chairs, fridges, washing machines and other valuables belonging to many households floated in the water.

Nguyen Van Liem, owner of a 3.8ha apricot garden, said that if the waters do not recede in few days, all apricot plants would bloom early and his losses could go up to VND4 billion (US$230,000).

Hoang Thinh Company, a footwear producer, also suffered heavy losses as its warehouse was inundated.

Nguyen Nam Hai, vice chairman of Hiep Binh Phuoc People’s Committee, said that the ward has gathered necessary materials to repair the dyke section as soon as the waters recede. — VNS

 

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