Floods paralyze traffic, submerge houses in Quang Nam

By Dac Thanh   December 1, 2020 | 12:00 am PT
Floods paralyze traffic, submerge houses in Quang Nam
A person walks a bicycle through a flooded street in Quang Nam Province, December 1, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.
Hundreds of houses in central Quang Nam Province were flooded Tuesday following heavy rains and hydropower plant water discharge, paralyzing traffic and isolating communes.

In Tam Ky Town, floodwater invaded houses in lower areas like Hoa Huong, Tam Ky, Tam Thang, Tan Thanh and An Phu wards, while several streets in Phuoc Hoa Ward were submerged by as deep as 50 cm, forcing people to push their vehicles along on foot.

Nguyen Xuan Phu, from Phuoc Hoa, said flooding started Monday night and invaded his home the next morning. He and his relatives had to relocate their belongings to higher ground before taking refuge with neighbors.

"On Tuesday morning, the Phu Ninh hydropower reservoir office said it would discharge water at a rate of 800 cubic meters per second into Tam Ky River. If it continues to rain and water continues to be discharged, the water level would keep rising," he stressed.

Over 600 people living in lower areas of Tam Ky Town have been evacuated, said Bui Ngoc Anh, the city’s chairman.

In Hoi An ancient town, roads near the Hoa River like Bach Dang and Nguyen Phuc Chu were inundated by up to a meter of water. Floods in Hoi An may continue to escalate as heavy rains continue and the local Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant keeps discharging water, experts anticipated.

This is the third time Hoi An, a popular tourist destination, is flooded this month.

In mountainous Bac Tra My District, floodwater came down from the mountain despite lessening rain Tuesday morning.

"To keep people in areas prone to erosion and landslides safe, Bac Tra My authorities have evacuated 423 families with 1,928 members," said Huynh Ngoc Thieu, head of the Bac Tra My agricultural department.

In Phuoc Son District, traffic was paralyzed after mountain floodwater swamped several streets. Erosion and landslides were also recorded in areas of Phuoc Kim, Phuoc Thanh and Phuoc Loc communes, further impeding traffic.

"People are advised against traveling while rains and floods occur to stay safe," said Nguyen Quang, deputy chairman of Phuoc Son.

Due to the effects of cold air combined with high-altitude east-to-west prevailing winds, heavy rains have hit Quang Nam, according to the local hydro-meteorological station. Rainfall of up to 458 mm from 7 a.m. Monday to 7 p.m. Tuesday was recorded in several areas of Quang Nam, including Bac Tra My and Nui Thanh districts, it added.

Rains in Quang Nam are expected to subside starting Tuesday night, the station said.

Quang Nam was among several central Vietnam localities to be struck by heavy rains, flooding and landslides in recent months due to numerous storms and tropical depressions. At least 235 people were either killed or reported missing in the region in October, with property losses amounting to around VND17 trillion ($734.67 million).

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