Motorcyclists stranded again as Saigon streets turn into rivers under heavy rain

By Duy Tran   September 30, 2017 | 10:39 pm GMT+7
Motorcyclists stranded again as Saigon streets turn into rivers under heavy rain
Many motorbikes were knocked down under the heavy rain. Photo by VnExpress/Duy Tran.
Despite the city's flood prevention measures, including a $3.87 million pumping system, the notorious downpour has once again prevailed.

A heavy downpour hitting Saigon on Saturday evening submerged many of the city's streets again, leaving motorbike engines dead and riders drenched in flood water.

Huynh Tan Phat Street in District 7 soon became a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) river with the road more than half a meter (1.6 feet) deep underwater. Dotting the newly-formed river are people pushing their motorbikes, or trying to get up after being knocked down by waves created by a passing car.

“A passing truck just knocked me down. The phone and documents in my bag are all wet,” Minh Tu from Nha Be District said while soaked in water, having just pulled her fallen motorbike back up.

Having lived on Huynh Tan Phat Street for years, Tran The Anh, 57, and his neighbors were well prepared for the flood with barricades made of sandbags and wooden boards.

“This area is heavily flooded every time there's a heavy rain or a high tide,” he said. “I've witnessed many motorcyclists being knocked down by the waves.”


This car was crushed after strong winds uprooted a nearby tree. Photo by VnExpress/Duy Tran.

Many other areas in District 7 also suffered the same fate. All roads leading from the district's Phu My Hung Urban Area to District 10 were flooded, while the Trung Son area “looked like a river” according to Thanh, a 40-year-old car driver.

“The wind is very strong, bending many roadside trees,” he said. “Water even entered my car. I saw many motorcyclists fall.”

A 10-meter tree in District 10 was also uprooted by strong winds, crushing an empty 7-seater car parked nearby.

The infamous Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District was also turned into a river by the hour-long downpour. The flood-prone street has recently been equipped with a pumping system as part of the city's efforts to combat flooding. However, while it successfully coped with last week's high tides, the new pump seemed helpless when faced with the flood on Saturday.

“A couple of days ago I heard there's some kind of super pump that could drain water quickly but I don't see it working today,” Nguyen Thao, who was driving through the street, lamented.


Nguyen Huu Canh Street was still flooded even after the rain had ended. Photo by VnExpress/Duy Tran.

The downpour on Saturday evening was a normal occurrence caused by convective clouds developing over the region, according to Le Dinh Quyet, deputy head of the Hydrometeorological Observatory for the southern region.

The rain was measured to be up to nearly 100 millimeters, with the city's central, southern and southwestern areas being hit the hardest, Quyet said.

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