Da Nang loses $60 mln to historic flooding

By Nguyen Dong   October 19, 2022 | 08:52 pm PT
Da Nang loses $60 mln to historic flooding
Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa stands inside her house that has been destroyed by floods in Hoa Vang District of Da Nang City, October 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Da Nang City has estimated the losses caused by last week's flooding, the worst ever, at VND1.48 trillion (US$60.3 million).

The floods caused by Storm Son Ca inundated 70,000 houses and damaged 2,000 cars and 30,000 motorbikes, city chairman Le Trung Chinh said at a meeting with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc Wednesday.

The sixth storm to hit Vietnam this year dumped up to 795 mm of rain overnight on Oct. 14. The downpour was particularly heavy for the first six hours starting at 7 p.m., with the rainfall estimated at 500 mm.

The rains, described by city authorities as "historic" and "unprecedented," drowned the entire city under 1.5 m of water on Oct. 14. Some parts of the coastal Lien Chieu District were under almost 2 m of water.

The flooding was worsened that night by high tides in rivers, and it took until morning for the water to recede.

The floods caused six deaths and submerged 70,000 houses, with Lien Chieu District suffering the most with 27,320 houses affected.

Floods also destroyed more than 74 hectares of crops, killed 60,000 cattle and poultry, damaged 14 schools, and completely destroyed 4,000 sets of textbooks.

Transport infrastructure suffered more than VND190 billion worth of damage.

Tran Quang Trung stands by what used to be his house in Lien Chieu District. Photo VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Tran Quang Trung stands by what used to be his house in Lien Chieu District, after severe flooding brought by heavy rains triggered by Storm Son Ca, Oct. 2022. Photo VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

People living in Da Nang for long said it was the worst flooding they had ever seen.

The local Department of Natural Resources and Environment said the rainfall exceeded the capacity of the city's drainage system, which could cope with 100-200 mm in 24 hours.

Pham Thanh Hung, a lecturer on hydropower and irrigation at the Da Nang University of Science and Technology, said besides the heavy rains the rapid urbanization was also to blame for the severe flooding.

More concrete buildings mean an increase in the impervious surface area, resulting in increasing runoffs, he pointed out.

Urbanization is accompanied by an increase in the urban population and amount of garbage, which often clogs the drains, he added.

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