Flood alert raised in central Vietnam as heavy rain continues hitting region
Meteorologists have raised the flood alert level in central Vietnam to four in the country’s five-level natural disaster risk system amid torrential rain continuing to batter localities in the region, especially Da Nang and Thua Thien-Hue.
Heavy rain turned major streets in Da Nang into rivers on October 12 - 13, with many places being left under water of between one and two metres deep. Relevant forces, including young volunteers and soldiers, were dispatched to evacuate 5,000 local people from flooded areas.
On the evening of October 13, Le Trung Chinh, head of the Da Nang municipal administration, made a field trip to the flooded areas in Lien Chieu and Thanh Khe districts.
Displaced people were duly arranged to temporarily stay at the headquarters of local administrations and schools, whilst they were also provided with daily necessities in order to survive the severe flooding, said Chinh.
Though rain let up on the morning of October 14, floodwaters submerging many residential quarters in Da Nang, throwing life there into chaos.
Most notably, relevant agencies safely rescued all 14 crewmembers on board a vessel in distress in the waters off the central coast of Da Nang. They also rescued 12 people trapped in flooded houses on Me Suot street during the height of the rain.
Furthermore, heavy rain flooded large parts of Thua Thien-Hue, a central province which has been badly impacted by floods and storms.
Several places were left 700mm under water, forcing local authorities to order students to remain at home for safety reasons on October 13, said Nguyen Dinh Bach, head of the administration of Phong Dien District.
Initial reports show that a local resident was washed away by violent floodwaters during the height of the rain.
On the morning of October 14, rain decreased in intensity, and water levels on the Huong River also decreased compared to October 13.
Floodwaters receded in Hue, as well as the districts of Nam Dong, A Luoi, Huong Tra, and Huong Thuy, enabling students to go to school. Meanwhile school closures remained in effect in the low-lying districts of Phong Dien, Quang Dien, and Phu Loc.
Elsewhere, Quang Nam, Quang Tri, Ha Tinh, Phu Yen, and Thanh Hoa provinces also experienced a long spell of rain.
In Ha Tinh province, rescue forces on the morning of October 14 retrieved the body of a 13-year-old student who was washed away by violent floodwaters several hours earlier.
In the face of the possible severe flooding, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued an urgent telegram on October 12, in which he asked relevant ministries and localities to remain vigilant and pool their resources to cope with the long spell of rain and severe flooding hitting the central region.
He requested that designated agencies and localities move to evacuate local residents from flood and landslide prone areas to higher ground, as well as providing displaced people with makeshift shelters and food.
The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting warned that rain would continue to hit the central region in a ‘complex manner’ in a couple of days.