Hundreds of families evacuated as torrential rains inundate Phu Quoc

By Cuu Long   August 6, 2019 | 02:00 pm GMT+7
Hundreds of families evacuated as torrential rains inundate Phu Quoc
Tran Phu Street on Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island in the southern Kien Giang Province, is flooded knee-deep on Monday after three days of heavy rains. Photo by Riko.

Several areas on Phu Quoc Island are flooded following three days of heavy rains since Friday, forcing hundreds of families to evacuate.

"I’ve lived my whole life here and it’s the first time I have witnessed such floods," Nguyen Van Van, 75, who lives on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Duong Dong Town, said.

"The rains were torrential and the water did not drain in time, the streets became rivers and houses are severely flooded. I and my relatives had to evacuate to another relative’s house on higher ground."

Rainfall of over 200 mm daily for three days overwhelmed the island’s drainage system, Huynh Quang Hung, deputy chairman of the Phu Quoc People’s Committee, said on Monday.

People illegally obstructing the island’s rivers and creeks and high tides are also to blame for the severity of the flooding, he said.

Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

The communes of Cua Duong, Cua Can and Duong To remained inundated on Monday, paralyzing traffic and commerce.

People even resorted to boats and buoys to move around on streets like Cach Mang Thang Tam, Tran Phu, Mac Cuu, and Nguyen Trung Truc.

Several people use a boat to traverse a flooded street of Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province. Photo by Riko.

Men use a boat to traverse a flooded street of Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province. Photo by Riko.

Around 500 families have been affected by the flooding.

Over 1,000 military, police and border defense personnel have been deployed to evacuate people in affected areas, Hung said.

"[Locals] describe the flooding as the worst in the history of Phu Quoc. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but there was a lot of property damage."

Farmers and their cows go home on a flooded street in Phu Quoc. Photo by Riko.

Farmers with their cattle on a flooded street in Phu Quoc. Photo by Riko.

Though the rains have stopped and the water is draining, authorities are keeping watch on areas vulnerable to flooding as a precaution, he added.

With a total area of 589.2 square kilometers, Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island. It has a population of 145,000. It is also a popular travel destination, attracting 407,000 visitors in July.

 
 
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