Quảng Bình man goes above and beyond in flood relief efforts

November 07, 2020 - 07:59

In the midst of the immense flooding, Thắng sat on a small boat and listened to phone calls from his wife and son to update the flood situation and hear people calling for help.


Lê Văn Thắng delivers emergency aid to families trapped in flooded areas of Quảng Bình Province. Photo tienphong.vn

 QUẢNG BÌNH - Lê Văn Thắng, 60, residing in Đồng Hới City, Quảng Bình Province, hired a boat to deliver relief goods to families trapped in flooded areas in recent days.

In the midst of the immense flooding, Thắng sat on a small boat and listened to phone calls from his wife and son to update the flood situation and hear people calling for help.

At home, his wife prepared meals for people in flooded areas and his son used the phone to co-ordinate deliveries of relief goods from charities.

On October 23, Quảng Bình Province was largely flooded, with the waves licking the roofs of houses in many areas.

Relief groups from all parts of the country flocked to the central region.

At Kim Liên junction where lorries carrying relief goods gathered, Thắng hurriedly went to trucks to receive goods, then loaded them onto his boat to transport to families trapped in flooded areas in Lệ Thủy District which was considered the centre of the flood in Quảng Bình.

Thắng, wearing a life jacket and shorts, waded through floodwaters to load boxes of instant noodles and chưng cakes from lorries to the boat before transporting them to needy families.

Thắng said the last historic flood made his hometown, An Thủy Commune, sink under floodwater.

“I left my hometown to start a career and live in Đồng Hới City. Knowing that people in hometown are isolated by the floods, my family sought to support them,” he said.

His wife and some female relatives gathered to cook rice and food, divided them into boxes, and the 23-year-old son drove them to the canoes to take them to the floodplains.

“My family has cooked hundreds of meals these days,” he said. “My nephew has a truck and also came here to take part in the delivery of relief goods."

The villages were sunk, local people had to go to the rooftops to take refuge. For four days, his family barely ate or slept so they could help others.

Rains were still pouring down in Lệ Thủy, Thắng sadly said: “As the rain continues, the water still rises, people suffer even more. I don't know when the floods will end."

Plastic barrels containing dozens of boxes of rice, noodles, chưng cakes, water, milk were transferred onto the boat. Standing on the shore looking at the immense floodwaters, Thắng was worried about the people still trapped in flood areas.

“Fasten the life jacket in the middle of the stream as there are strong winds, and strong waves, so be careful, try to sit still on the boat, so that the boatman can control with peace of mind,” he said.

After about 45 minutes, the boat arrived at An Đình Village, Hồng Thủy Commune. Floods surrounded the four sides. Only rooftops could be seen.

When the boat arrived at a house, Thắng shouted: "Where is everyone? Come out and receive rice and water."

Some people put their heads through the tiled roofs, leaning up to receive relief supplies. A boy stood on the tiled roof said happily: "Uncle Thắng has come again, we have dinner."

Approaching each house, Thắng distributed rice and relief goods depending on the number of each family members.

Thắng's love for his homeland was expressed through the gratitude of local people here when receiving a box from him.

"Thank you, Uncle Thắng, be careful," said a woman from a window.

"Everyone please try to overcome, the floodwater is receding," replied Thắng.

After distributing all the goods on the boat, he smiled contentedly as he watched some of the residents eating well. VNS