Flooding continues to threaten Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport

May, 10/2018 - 08:00

Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City has continued to face the risk of being flooded in this rainy season as all of drainage canals are being blocked with trash.

HCM CITY – Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City is still at risk of being flooded during the rainy season, as all of the drainage canals are blocked with trash.

The latest report by the HCM City’s Steering Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme showed that the drainage system of the airport has been blocked by trash both inside and outside the airport.

Specifically, inside the airport, the 1,000mm drain from the Tân Sơn Nhất Petroleum Joint Stock Company to Nhật Bản Canal was partially blocked by construction waste. Some of the open ditches also showed signs of degradation.

The drainage system inside the airport was considered to be incomplete and incomprehensive, and failed to effectively connect to the drainage system outside the airport.

In the landing area and the warehouse, water could not flow out due to narrow sewers.

Meanwhile, the three main drainage directions comprising the Hy Vọng, Nhật Bản and A41 canals outside the airport were all covered and encroached by construction waste and household garbage.

Hy Vọng, the key drain in the north of the airport, was blocked by tonnes of trash, including household garbage, construction waste and even dead animals, causing serious pollution in the surrounding area.

The drain under Cống Lỡ Bridge was contained with stagnant water. The water was black and had a horrible smell.

Trần Thị Chón, a resident in Ward 15, Tân Bình District told news.zing.vn that hundreds of kilogrammes of garbage were thrown down to the canal everyday. Thus, the water could not flow through the canal and spilled out of the surrounding area when it rained.

It would surely flood the airport, she said.

In the A41 canal running through a residential area nearby, some parts of the canal have gone from 3.5 metres in depth to just 0.5 metres due to being filled with trash.

Representatives of the centre said that serious flooding in the landing area and the runway has caused chronic delays. Roughly 40 per cent of all flights in the country were from or to Tân Sơn Nhất Airport.

Last year, an image of planes parked in large pools of water went viral on social media.

In 2016, heavy rains flooded several parts of the airport, with water rising as high as 20 centimetres, threatening to compromise the airport’s power generators, and prompting employees to barricade the area with sand bags.

Although the city has approved two projects to upgrade the drainage system to the airport, they’re yet to be implemented.

As planned, the project of upgrading the A41 canal will be completed this year. However, the site clearance of the project took longer than expected. The People’s Committee of Tân Bình District said it is still waiting for the Department of Finance’s reply on the level of compensation for affected households.

The second project of upgrading Hy Vọng Canal was approved in 2016, but has not yet been implemented due to a shortage of finance. The city is still mobilising investment capital.

According to the centre, it is necessary to improve the drainage system inside the airport to make sure that it can connect properly with the drainage system outside.

The dredging of the Hy Vọng and A41 canals ought to be carried out soon to avoid further catastrophe.

Prof Lê Huy Bá, former head of HCM City’s University of Industry’s Science, Technology and Environment Management Institute told Thanh Niên (Youth) newspaper that it is too late to kick off the upgrading of the two canals this year as the rainy season is approaching.

He said that temporary measures such as dredging all of the canals, with the support of specialised machines, will help in the meantime. – VNS