Prolonged heavy rains isolate 1,700 households in Lai Châu

Update: August, 06/2018 - 00:15
Local authorities, in coordination with border guards in the northern mountainous province of Lai Châu, are searching for missing people buried under soil and rock. Heavy rains in the past week caused serious landslides in certain parts of the province and the neighbouring province of Điện Biên. - VNA/VNS Photo Quý Trung
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — More than 1,700 households in three remote communes in the mountainous province of Lai Châu are temporarily isolated due to prolonged heavy rains, Vietnam News Agency reported yesterday.

Heavy rains in the past week caused serious landslides along the roads connecting Khổng Lào and Sì Lờ Lầu communes in Phong Thổ District, making three communes of Vàng Ma Chải, Ma Ly Chải and Sì Lờ Lầu inaccessible.

Besides efforts to search for the six missing people from Vàng Ma Chải Commune, the district’s authority is mobilising all forces including militiamen, police, border soldiers, and defence force and necessary facilities to soon clear the damaged traffic route.  

Initial statistics from Phong Thổ District’s People’s Committee showed hundreds of landslides occurred during the flooding, with more than 100,000cu.m of rock, soil, and other earth materials.  

“Traveling through the route is so challenging. We expect the State to soon use machines to clear the rocks and soil to facilitate our movement,” said Chẻo San Mẩy in Vàng Ma Chải Commune.

Another resident in the commune, Chẻo Sân Siểu, added: “I have never seen so many landslides in the road for years. It is hard for the old people and children. Landslides seem to keep going in certain areas.”

Chairman of Phong Thổ District’s People’s Committee, Trần Văn Quế said damage to the roads in the district as a result of the rain and flooding was substantial, meaning repairs were quite difficult and costly.

“Goods and other essential commodities for local people are in good stock. We also assigned relevant authorities to monitor the market price in the area to avoid the possibility of a price hike,” Quế said.

In another development, landslides occurring at Km74 in the National Highway 4H running through the nearby Điện Biên Province early Saturday also made stopped traffic for nearly 30 hours, according to Vietnam News Agency.            
“Traffic congestion is serious. Roads were temporarily opened at 8:30am on August 5,” the Director of Land Road Company II, Lương Thanh Tùng, said.

“Lorries and passenger buses were helped by specialised excavators and bulldozers to get through, whilst four-seat automobiles couldn’t move,” he added.

Yesterday morning saw landslides on another section of the National Highway 4H in Nậm Pồ District’s Chà Nưa Commune.

Vietnam News Agency also reported landslides took place on National Highway 12 linking Điện Biên and Lai Châu provinces, causing traffic jams for hours.

Flood water release

Due to an increased volume of water flooding to Hòa Bình River, the Hòa Bình Hydropower Plant was requested to open one floodgate at 8am yesterday.

It said one hour before the flood water release, the water level upstream measured 106.14m, the water level downstream was 13.43m while the flow to the lake was 1,577cu.m/s, and the total discharge volume was 3,358cu.m/s.

Ninety minutes after the flood water release, the water level downstream was 14.7m.

Heavy rain in the forecast

Heavy rain, storm and strong gusts are forecast in the South China Sea (East Sea) today due to the tropical low pressure system, the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecast warned yesterday.

As a result of the intertropical convergence zone combined  with enhanced southwestern, winds with gusts of level 5 (29-38km/h), level 6 (39-49km/h) or event level 8 (62-74km/h) were reported in the southern South China Sea and sea areas from Bình Thuận to Cà Mau on Sunday night and Monday.

Strong winds and cyclones are expected today off the coast of the central and southern regions, including the Trường Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, and sea areas from Bình Thuận to Cà Mau, Cà Mau to Kiên Giang and in the Gulf of Thailand. — VNS