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Thousands evacuated as heavy rains flood Nha Trang

By Xuan Ngoc, Nguyen Quy   November 30, 2020 | 07:44 pm PT
Thousands evacuated as heavy rains flood Nha Trang
Residents in Nha Trang wade on a flooded street, November 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
Beach town Nha Trang in the south central province of Khanh Hoa has evacuated 1,500 people from several residential areas that have been inundated by heavy rains.

On Monday many areas on the outskirts of the popular tourist destination were under 0.5 meters of water.

In Vinh Thanh Commune, the floodwaters entered Ga Market, forcing shops to move their goods to higher places or close.

People are wading in knee-deep water in many places to buy food and candles.

A combination of a cold spell and monsoon winds triggered heavy rains and flooding in the central and south-central regions and the Central Highlands, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Center.

Nguyen Trung Quang, 28, of Vinh Thanh Commune said since his house is under 30 cm of water he is unable to cook and his family has to make do with instant noodles.

"The house is in a low-lying area, and when it rains I am always braced for flooding."

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, when it rained heavily, Quang and his younger brother saw the water rise quickly, immediately unplugged the refrigerator and put their vessels and fans on top of a bed.

"We had a sleepless night," Quang said.

Nguyen Trung Quang in Nha Trang puts his furniture on to a scaffolding when the floodwaters overflow his house, November 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.

Nguyen Trung Quang in Nha Trang puts his furniture on to a scaffolding when the floodwaters overflow his house, November 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.

Not far from his house, Le Thanh Chinh, 53, had to close his machinery repair shop.

Following heavy rains for three days he expected flooding, but was surprised by its speed on Sunday night, as, within just 30 minutes, the water rose to 50 cm inside his house and his family had to move machinery and furniture upstairs.

"I hope the rain stops soon and the floodwaters recede quickly so that people can clean the mud."

In Vinh Hiep Commune, around five kilometers from downtown Nha Trang, Nguyen Hung, 64, looked tired after a sleepless night.

After moving the furniture and other things at home to safety, he and his wife went to their son's house to shelter.

Town authorities have evacuated more than 1,500 people living in low-lying areas or facing a high risk of landslides to safer areas.

Educational institutions have been closed since Monday.

Many communes in Dien Khanh and Van Ninh districts, home to salt farms, are flooded.

Two groups of tourists from HCMC visiting Khanh Son District for trekking in Ta Giang Mountain are stuck.

On Monday night Nguyen Van Nhuan, district chairman, said local authorities have contacted the 36 tourists, who are sheltering in tents and waiting for the floodwaters to recede.

Prolonged downpours also hit other central provinces and the Central Highlands, the country's main coffee growing area.

A landslide dumped rock and soil down onto Highway 26, the only road between Khanh Hoa and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, blocking traffic since Monday.

Authorities in Dak Lak evacuated 100 families living near the Krong Pach Thuong irrigation lake to safer places.

Natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides, have killed 372 people in the first 11 months of this year and caused losses worth VND38.4 trillion ($1.65 billion), according to the General Statistics Office.

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