People nationwide dig deep for stricken central region

October 24, 2020 - 07:00
People nationwide have offered support to residents of the flood-stricken central region in recent days, their hearts touched by the plight of thousands of their compatriots.


A boat is used to carry chưng cakes and other stuff to people in flood-hit area of Đức Hoá Commune, Tuyên Hoá District in the central province of Quảng Bình. VNS Photo Bùi Văn Tứ

Bích Hường

HÀ NỘI  People nationwide have offered support to residents of the flood-stricken central region in recent days, their hearts touched by the plight of thousands of their compatriots.

Tăng Văn Linh, 34 years old, of residential group No1, Diễn Đồng Commune, Diễn Châu District in the central province of Nghệ An, said that when he posted on his Facebook account an idea to make chưng cakes for people in flood-hit areas, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Some committed to giving rice, others committed to giving meat. Some were willing to clean the leaves while others would wrap the cakes.

In only one afternoon, they made 500 cakes including bánh nếp (sticky cakes), chưng cake (cubic sticky rice cakes) and Tét cakes (rolled sticky rice cakes) which are all typical products of his cake-making village.

About 300 people in the residential group helped out at the yard of the community house. Cakes were boiled in one night and then loaded onto a truck, Linh said, adding that a team of young people volunteered to take the cakes and other donated goods to Quảng Bình Province – one of five provinces hardest-hit by flooding for the last two weeks.

“We also live in a storm and flood-prone area, so we deeply understand what flood victims are experiencing. We all want to support them as much as possible,” Linh said.

“Even people in disadvantaged families offered help and aid,” Linh said.

Returning from Quảng Bình Province at 2 am on Friday, head of a charity club Bùi Văn Tứ said in Đức Hoá Commune, Tuyên Hoá District where his team went to, the floodwater level was lower but landslides were serious.

“The roads are covered with mud layers 20-30cm thick,” Tứ said, adding that their aid-carrying trucks struggled to cross the roads.

Local authorities arranged boats to bring them to local houses to deliver cakes, water, instant noodles, dried food and medicine.

“Some local people sailed boats to reach us to get the aid. Some asked for more water,” Tứ said, adding that they ran out of food and drinking water.

“Those of us who carried aid to the flood victims were all moved and happy to give the cakes to them,” Tứ said.

“We didn't know each other before. Both senders and receivers didn't know each other but we felt like we were family members,” he said.

“It’s an obligation and responsibility,” Tứ said after a long and hard journey.  

A group of Hanoians are making chưng cake (cubic sticky rice cakes) to send to people in the flood-hit areas in Central Vietnam. Photo courtesy of CDI

Bùi Nga, an employee of the Hà Nội-based Việt Nam Textile Research Institute, has been busy receiving donated clothes for people in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province – another locality hit hard by flooding recently.

“A friend of mine, a university lecturer, said to me that people in flood-hit areas are short of many things and their conditions now are so difficult, especially in isolated areas where traffic is disrupted and few people can reach,” Nga said.

“My friend told me that they [people in flood-hit areas] were wet and cold and if I wanted to help, send my used clothes. She said she would give clothes to them,” Nga said.

Nga used her connections in textiles to gather donations and collected them at her house in Long Biên District and her workplace, while some of her friends helped collect too.

After that, they select usable items and sorted them so her friend in Huế could easily hand them out.

“We are own busy with our daily work and activities but we would always find time for what we think we need to do,” Nga said.

She said she was very impressed to see a couple took their two children to her houses with a lot of stuff to donate.

“They travelled by motorbike more than 10km to my house with a lot of things on it. It’s not safe,” Nga said.

However, the father told Nga that it was no matter. He wanted his children to learn about sharing and helping others in need.

Rains have stopped in the central regions in the last few days, though another storm may be on the way. Floodwaters have started receding gradually. Aid carrying trucks are heading to flood-hit provinces as the Government, agencies, organisations and individual donors have spared no efforts in rescue and social welfare support.

At least 114 people have killed and 21 people are still missing due to historic flooding and landslides in the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên-Huế and Quảng Nam. More than 170,000 houses in flood-prone Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Tri provinces were submerged, with many areas isolated. VNS