|PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and leaders of Ninh Bình Province inspect a dyke on Thursday as the province is hit hard by serious flooding. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
NINH BÌNH — In the face of abnormal and serious flooding over the past few days, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc cancelled a scheduled meeting with voters in Hải Phòng City on Thursday, travelling instead to the northern province of Ninh Bình to check on local dykes.
The PM inspected the Hoàng Long River dyke, which protects Ninh Bình City and National Highway 1A from the swollen river. Water level in the Hoàng Long River in Nho Quan and Gia Viễn districts reached 5.3m, higher than the record flood level in 1985.
According to Đinh Chung Phụng, vice chairman of the Ninh Bình Province People’s Committee and deputy head of the provincial steering committee for natural disaster prevention and search and rescue, provincial authorities are considering allowing flood water to overflow some sections of the dyke to prevent it from breaking.
PM Phúc asked Ninh Bình to devise plans for rescue operations, evacuation of residents and flood discharge. The province was also urged to stay vigilant and keep close watch on dykes, dams and reservoirs.
Northern mountainous provinces and part of the central region have been submerged by widespread floods resulting from torrential rains on October 10 and 11.
The death toll climbed to 29 as of 5pm on October 11, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue.
The fatalities included eight people in Thanh Hoá, six in Nghệ An and Hoà Bình provinces each, five in Sơn La and four in Yên Bái Province. Another 21 people are missing, nine in Yên Bái and five in Hoà Bình.
Heavy rain plagues Việt Nam
The prolonged heavy rain has caused landslides, overwhelmed reservoirs and destroyed important dams across Việt Nam.
Thanh Hóa Province is suffering from levee breaches along Chu, Yên and Cầu Chày rivers. The local authorities have repaired those failures.
In eighty-five of 286 anti-flood water reservoirs in northern provinces, water now exceeds half the height of the reservoir.
Broken dikes in Nam Định Province are continuing to erode.
Meanwhile, the water level of Đáy River in Hà Nam and Ninh Bình provinces has exceeded warning Level 3, indicating an extremely serious flood.
Hoàng Long River in Ninh Bình has witnessed the record water level of 5.53m. The local authorities are trying to postpone opening the floodgates by reinforcing the dike.
Đồng Văn Tự, head of Dam Safety Department under the Directorate of Water Resources, said that reservoirs had not broken since the outside water level is also high.
Reservoirs in the central region are facing the same situation. Eleven floodgates are being opened to discharge water.
Reservoirs in Bắc Giang and Lạng Sơn provinces, however, were not threatened by flooding.
According to the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, heavy rain has destroyed about 8,000ha of rice and more than 30,000ha of corn and vegetables, drowned 897ha of fruit trees and killed 41,000 cattle and poultry.
As heavy rain prevented farmers from working their fields, in the Northern Delta, people have harvested just 45 per cent of the rice yield, while farmers of the northern central region gathered crops in 140,000 over 170,000ha of the rice fields.
Students in the mountainous area of Thanh Hóa Province have been allowed to stay at home until Thursday, according to the provincial Department of Education and Training.
In another development, rising tides in the Mekong Delta are threatening to break the dike system.
With the height of 1m92, a rising tide broke six dams on Sóc Trăng Province’s Dung Island in six places. Moreover, the tide flooded a broad area of farm land, causing serious damage. — VNS