Saigon braces for heavy flooding by river tides

By Ha An   November 13, 2020 | 08:17 pm PT
Saigon braces for heavy flooding by river tides
Residents go through a flooded street in HCMC's District 7 following high tides on October 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC will see river tides rise to 1.74 - 1.76 meters on Monday, the highest levels this year, and flood many low-lying areas, the weather office has warned.

The Southern Hydrometeorological Center on Friday forecast the tide to reach 1.76 meters at the Nha Be Station on the Dong Dien River at 5 p.m. and 1.75 meters at the Phu An Station in the Saigon River.

The high tides would severely flood areas such as Tran Xuan Soan Street in District 7 and Nguyen Van Huong and Quoc Huong streets in District 2 besides parts of districts Nha Be and 4.

Le Dinh Quyet, deputy head of the center’s forecasting office, said HCMC would not however be affected by Storm Vamco, which is heading for central Vietnam though some parts could get light rains.

Authorities have been advised to secure important embankment sections and the drainage network and mobilize water pumps for draining flooded areas.

The last time there was heavy flooding was on October 18 when tides reached 1.7 meters.

Over the last 10 years tide levels in the city have been rising consistently.

In November 2009 tides of 1.57 meters were considered the highest in 50 years. The maximum levels rose to 1.68 m in 2013 and 1.72 m in 2017 and 1.8 m last year.

Meteorologist Le Thi Xuan Lan said the rising tides are due to both natural and manmade causes.

"Climate change has led to rising sea levels but another important reason is urban construction done on soft ground."

"Ninety percent of this year 's highest tides will occur in October and November due to the changes in the gravitational pull of the moon and earth." The tide levels would gradually decrease next year, reaching their lowest in July, she said.

For years scenes of people wading through or getting stuck in flooded streets in motorbikes and cars during high tides and heavy rains have become common in Saigon, the country’s biggest metropolis and economic hub.

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