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South Central rains to continue

Update: November, 18/2010 - 09:42
Floods wreak havoc in the Huong Son District of central Ha Tinh Province. National weather forecasters warn that heavy rain will continue in the South Central region. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan

Floods wreak havoc in the Huong Son District of central Ha Tinh Province. National weather forecasters warn that heavy rain will continue in the South Central region. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan

HA NOI — Heavy rains are forecast to continue in south-central provinces, while local authorities and people are trying to surmount the consequences of floods that have hit the region over recent days.

Rainfall from Quang Tri to Binh Dinh Province over the past three days averaged 150-300mm, but reached 500mm and 740mm in some areas such as Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai.

Prolonged torrential rains of up to 982mm in mountainous Tra Bong District in Quang Ngai caused double floods and pushed water levels in local rivers beyond alarm level.

Most water reservoirs in the central region had begun discharging flood water. Ten of eleven reservoirs in Quang Ngai exceeded their overflow levels.

Director of the National Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre Bui Minh Tang said heavy rains would continue during the next few days,with storms tending to move southwards through the provinces of Quang Ngai to Phu Yen.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai instructed authorities of south-central provinces to stay alert to the progress of rains and floods to minimise losses to human life and property at an urgent online meeting with the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control and local authorities yesterday.

"Rains and floods are causing severe problems, particularly in highland areas where there are a limited number of rain measuring stations, so it is essential to keep a close watch, while maintaining a flow of reports on the progress of rainstorms and floods to prevent a loss of lives through carelessness," Hai said.

Localities should continue mobilising all available forces for rescue and relief work and to support flood victims and help local people overcome the consequences of the storms.

He required the national steering committee for flood and storm prevention and control to check and ensure the safety of reservoir systems and promptly respond to landslide-affected areas.

He noted that hydropower reservoirs needed to discharge floodwaters in line with regulations to avoid creating flooding in low-lying areas.

Torrential rains have triggered floods in south-central provinces over recent days, killing 12 people and leaving two missing.

More than 44,500 households and many roads and highways in the region have been submerged under 0.2-2m of floods.

Thua Thien-Hue authorities reported that the Ho Chi Minh Highway sections crossing A Roang and Hong Van communes which had been damaged by floods, reopened to traffic yesterday.

Police in Quang Nam have mobilised forces to guide local people travelling across submerged and landslide affected roads, as well as monitoring National Highway 1A for traffic jams.

According to the Trieu Thuong Commune People's Committee, Quang Tri Province, people in low-lying areas have been evacuated with their possessions to higher ground.

People's Committee Chairman Nguyen Dai Vui of Phong Dien District in Thua Thien-Hue said drawing on the experience from previous floods, the district had bought 40 tonnes of rice to supply people in isolated areas.

"Children and old people have already been relocated to higher ground to ensure their safety," he said.

More than 4,700 households with over 21,000 people in high risks areas have been evacuated to safe places in the region. — VNS

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