Historic flood hits Huế, killing 9

November 07, 2017 - 15:27

Continuous heavy rains have worsened the inundation due to heavy floods that occurred on Sunday morning in central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.

Chaos in daily life of city dwellers in Huế City. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Sum
Viet Nam News

THỪA THIÊN- HUẾ — Continuous heavy rains have worsened the inundation due to heavy floods that occurred on Sunday morning in central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.

Water covered almost all roads connecting the districts with National Highway No. 1A, which opened to traffic late Monday afternoon when water receded following the nearly two-day inundation.

According to the local Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Rescue, the death toll due to the flood in the province was nine, including two children swept away by the sudden, strong current while their parents were rushing to save household items and were not keeping an eye on their kids.

Residents in the province blamed power plants located at the upper parts of two local main rivers of Hương and Bồ for the unannounced release of water into the rivers. However, the responsibility for this fell on district and commune authorities, as last Friday, local newspaper had carried related announcements.

Residents in Quảng Điền Commute on a self-made banana boat to shop for necessities during the flood. — VNS Photo Phước Bửu

At around 7am in Sunday morning, swift flooding occurred in entire residential areas in the basins of the rivers within 30 minutes, including municipal Huế City. Residents were unable to save their goods due to the high water level, which some said was as high as the historic flood in 1999 in the locality.

Hoàng Ngọc Đế, a resident of Hương Trà District’s Tứ Hạ Township, said the flood was so swift that the water later reached the mark of the 1999 flood peak on his home wall. “It took about 10 minutes to rise to half of the motorbike height and prevented tens of customers at my eatery from leaving after their breakfast,” he said.

Nguyễn Thị Phương, a resident of Phong Điền’s Phong An Commune, said she was surprised at the rising speed at which the water level rose, inundating and damaging her refrigerator and washing machine.

The Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Rescue reported that 17,588 houses were inundated around the province, with water level inside the houses at 0.2-0.8m. Strong currents also resulted in intrusion of seawater at the mouth of the Thuận An sea, resulting in erosion along the 10km coastline.

A commuter on a flooded road in Quảng Điền District. — VNS Photo Phước Bửu

Meanwhile, blackouts occurred in the province from Sunday morning to Monday afternoon, which continue today in lowland areas in Quảng Điền, Hương Trà, Phú Vang and Phú Lộc districts. All schools and public offices remained closed on Monday.

No estimated loss report has been made yet, but those who suffered most are fish breeders on Bồ River. Hundreds of tonnes of fish died as they could not survive in the yellowish dark floodwater.

River water remains at alarming levels of two and three and is expected to rise further due to heavy rainfall, forecast to continue by Wednesday.

Authorities of local power reservoirs warned of more release of water following visits by local Party Secretary Lê Trường Lưu to local irrigation and power reservoirs, where he asked for more release of water to save reservoirs from breaking. — VNS