Three killed as downpours trigger flash floods in Ha Giang

By Gia Chinh   June 9, 2024 | 07:52 pm PT
Torrential downpours rendered several areas in northern mountainous Ha Giang Province to be 2 m underwater on Monday, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed three people.

Starting 3 a.m., the rain began to barrel down Ha Giang City, and within just 30 minutes, water began to flow down from mountaintops, sweeping everything in its way.

Nguyen Cuong, who owns a motorbike shop in Phuong Thien Commune, said the water rose too quickly and his family did not have enough time to stash away their belongings. Dozens of motorbikes on the first floor were submerged as a result.

"At the commune, there are two locations where water levels reached 2 m. Police officers and soldiers are helping to evacuate the people and push cars away from inundated areas," he said.

Water submerges a motorbike shop in Ha Giang, June 10, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Cuong

Water submerges a motorbike shop in Ha Giang, June 10, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Cuong

In certain neighborhoods, high water levels forced people to evacuate to the roof, waiting for rescue. Downtown routes like Tran Phu, Ba Trieu, Nguyen Trai and Nguyen Van Linh were up to 60 cm underwater, paralyzing traffic.

Over the last 24 hours, rain levels in Ha Giang City reached 110 mm, with Vi Xuyen District in receiving 360 mm, according to meteorological agencies. In the coming hours, the flooded area is expected to expand, they added.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention has requested Ha Giang to deploy personnel to support people and check for erosion risks.

Previously on Sunday, heavy rains in Ha Giang also caused water to flow down from mountains towards the Nho Que River of Meo Vac District. Several vehicles were stranded amid the flash floods for about an hour.

Water rushes towards the Nho Que River on June 9, 2024. Video by VnExpress/Manh Tour

At least two coaches, three trucks, three cars and 10 motorbikes were stranded on a road section spanning 1 km. Several people managed to escape to higher grounds, leaving their vehicles behind.

"Some had to hold onto trees and rocks so the water would not sweep them away," said Manh, a tour guide. Not until 3 p.m. could people and their vehicles get to safer areas.

Máy múc khơi dòng. Ảnh: Mạnh Tour

Vehicles clear the way amid the floods and erosion. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tour

The last time Ha Giang experienced widespread flooding was in 2020, when rain levels over 24 hours reached up 347 mm, the highest ever recorded in 59 years.

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