Saigon braces for flooding as weather office forecasts heavy rains, high tides

By Ha An   October 16, 2020 | 07:44 pm PT
Saigon braces for flooding as weather office forecasts heavy rains, high tides
Residents walk with their vehicles through a flooded street in HCMC's Thu Duc Street following heavy rains, September 24, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Heavy rains triggered by a new tropical depression and high tides could cause severe flooding in many low-lying areas of HCMC on Sunday and Monday.

On Friday the Southern Hydrometeorological Center said with the depression over the East Sea and a tropical convergence stretching across the south-central region, strong monsoon winds are expected to trigger downpours across HCMC and the rest of the southern region.

The rainfall is forecast to be 30-40 mm a day, with some areas getting more than 70 mm.

In the last two days the water levels at downstream stations of the Saigon and Dong Nai rivers have increased rapidly.

The center has also forecast tides of 1.65-1.7 meters at the Phu An Station near the Saigon River and Nha Be Station on the Dong Dien River between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

The record high tides were reported in October last year at 1.77 meters at the Phu An Station on the Saigon River and 1.8 meters at the Nha Be Station on Dong Dien.

Le Dinh Quyet, deputy head of the center’s forecasting office, said the high tides and rains would cause heavy flooding in riverside and low-lying areas such as District 7, home to a largest expat community, neighboring District 8 and Binh Thanh and Nha Be districts.

The most recent heavy flooding occurred on September 24 when heavy rainfall for more than an hour caused many roads and houses in Districts 9 and Thu Duc to be submerged under half a meter of water.

For several years now residents of HCMC, the country's biggest city and economic hub, have had to wade through flooded streets with their vehicles and bail water out of their houses every time it rains heavily or high tides occur.

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