No rain, no floods: central Vietnam suffering worsens

By Minh Nga, Nguyen Dong   November 7, 2018 | 09:22 pm PT
No rain, no floods: central Vietnam suffering worsens
Water levels at many reservoirs in Da Nang and its central region neighbors have dropped significantly from last year. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
It’s the flooding season, but central Vietnam has been longing for rains for the past three months.

The normal rainy season in the central region lasts from August to November, and seasonal flooding is a regular occurrence.

This year, however, the amount of rainfall has fallen to record lows.

Operators of A Vuong, Dak Mi and Song Tranh hydropower projects in Quang Nam Province told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that the water level in their reservoirs has never been this low in the middle of the rainy season.

The levels at Dak Mi and Song Tranh are at 240 meters and 150 meters approximately. In the Song Tranh reservoir, the water level was 165-172 meters last year.

In the Central Highlands Province of Dak Lak, farmers have been waiting for rain for months.

Nearly 2,300 hectares (6,680 acres) of the summer-autumn crop, mostly paddy, in the province has already died and many more fields now have no way to fight drought because water levels in streams and reservoirs are very low, according to Dai Doan Ket newspaper.

Farmers in Dak Lak told the newspaper that they have never experienced such a serious lack of water in the middle of the rainy season.

The drought began in August and their paddy fields have dried up, they said.

The lack of fresh water has affected other places in the central region differently.

Many people in the coastal city of Da Nang had no access to tap water on Monday because salt intrusion had disrupted water supply from the Da Nang Water Supply Joint Stock Company (Dawaco).

The Da Nang People’s Committee said the weather this year has been unpredictable and that this should have been the flooding season now, but salt intrusion in the city was still "complicated."

Dawaco on Tuesday has called on its customers to save water due to a serious supply shortage.

Since August, the company has had to ask for water supply from nearby hydroelectric power plants in an effort to push away the salt intrusion.

Ngo Xuan The, deputy CEO of A Vuong Hydropower Joint Stock Company in the city, told Tuoi Tre that the amount of water in the project’s reservoir has dropped to 40-47 million cubic meters compared to nearly 170 million cubic meters last year.

This will have serious impact on not only the operation of the dam but daily activities of locals and what happens next could be very "serious," he said.

The Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control of Thua Thien-Hue Province said most reservoirs there are either empty or have only 20-50 percent of water left.

The amount of rainfall so far has been 40-50 percent of last year, it said.

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