Residents of Da Nang's flood zone forced to evacuate again

By Nguyen Dong   November 7, 2023 | 07:28 pm PT
Residents of Da Nang's flood zone forced to evacuate again
Two rescuers carry children out of the flooded Me Suot Street in Da Nang City, Nov. 7, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Floods triggered by heavy rains caused locals living along Me Suot Street in Da Nang’s Lien Chieu District to evacuate for the third time in two months late Tuesday night.

Around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, rescue forces and police rushed to the street to assist families in homes hit by flooding.

Old and sick people were put on rafts while children were carried on the backs of soldiers to flee their inundated houses.

As for healthy adults, rescue teams set up ropes for them to hold on to as they move out of the rapidly-moving waters of the flood zone on foot.

Local Tran Xuan Ty said Da Nang had received heavy rains all afternoon and night. "Then floods suddenly flowed down from the mountains through Me Suot Street."

As a result, the entire area was submerged underneath 1m of water.

Me Suot Street is adjacent to a mountain range west of the city, and rainwater usually flows from the hills down the street.

The street in Hoa Khanh Nam Ward, Lien Chieu District, is the lowest part of Da Nang and frequently floods every time it rains heavily.

Police help people in flooded areas of Me Suot Street evacuate, Nov. 7, 2023. Video by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Lying 8 km from the city’s downtown, Me Suot lies at the confluence of three streams that begin in the Dai La Pass between Thanh Vinh Mountain and Phuoc Ly Mountain.

The entire street and all of its alleys used to be rice fields. With a lack of strict and effective management, many illegally bought the agricultural lands and turned them into residential areas without any proper planning.

City legislators had already raised concerns over the street's drainage system in July, 2018, but no work to upgrade it ended up being undertaken.

Lawmakers said back then that the system designed ten years earlier could not keep up with the fast development and the high population growth of the area. Between 2008 and 2018, the number of families on the street increased five times.

Currently, more than 1,000 families are living in the area.

In October alone, local residents had to evacuate twice due to floods.

During Da Nang’s historic flooding on Oct. 14, 2022 when the city received 795 mm of rain overnight following storm Son Ca, the entire street was 2 m under water, and a 16-year-old girl died in the deluge.

According to the central region’s hydrometeorological station, total rainfall from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday rose to 40-80 mm and then up to 125 mmm and 140 mm in some Da Nang areas.

The station has predicted that the city will continue to receive rains of 80-180 mm, and over 250 mm in some places on Wednesday.

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