Usagi flooding wipes bridge out, trapping residents on island

By Cong Nghia, Tri Nguyen   November 27, 2018 | 10:51 am GMT+7
Flooding triggered by storm-turned-tropical depression Usagi demolished a 50m long bridge in Khanh Hoa, stranding 300 families.
Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited)

As Usagi, the ninth storm of the year to form off the Vietnamese coast, dropped heavy rain on the south central Khanh Hoa Province, water levels rose in rivers and several locations were flooded.

In Cam Ranh town, many places have been inundated. In some places, the water is several meters deep.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 1

Water slides down a badly damaged section of the National Highway 1A that leads to the Binh Tien tourist site. On Monday morning, cars were allowed to use the road at slow speed.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 2

Flood waters has wiped away a large section of Nuoc Ngot Bridge in Cam Lap Commune. The bridge connects people on Binh Lap Island (110 hectares) with the outside world. 300 families on the island have been isolated.

"The people in the village have to travel by sea, it takes 15 minutes to reach mainland and it’s very dangerous in this weather," said Nguyen Ngoc Son, Vice Chairman of Cam Ranh.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 3

The bridge was 50 meters long and about six meters wide. It spanned a stream called Nuoc Ngot or Fresh Water.

Local authorities have prevented people from entering this area as a safety caution. "When the waters recede, we will repair and remediate it by making a temporary bridge so that the isolated households can travel more conveniently," Son said.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 4

Binh Lap has suffered a lot from the flooding, which knocked down many electric posts, resulting in power outages. Students cannot go to school.

"For almost 30 years now, I have never seen such a massive flood, and we have never been so isolated," said resident Nguyen Van Thuan.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 5

A road from the national highway to Cam Lap Commune on the mountain slope was seriously damaged.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 6

The Khanh Hoa Military Command has stepped in to provide much-needed flood relief, mobilizing hundreds of soldiers and steel-armored vehicles.

Soldiers have used emergency floats and rafts in the floodplains to evacuate people. "Up to now, 2,000 people have been evacuated from flooded sites, which are at risk of landslide, to higher places," Son said.

Storm Usagi slit bridge in half, 300 households trapped on Vietnams South Central island (SEN - unedited) - 7

In Nha Trang, one of Vietnam’s most popular beach destinations which is less than two hours north of Binh Lap, it continued to pour on Monday morning. Pictured is a girl calling on relatives to help after her motorbike engine broke down in a flooded area.

Usagi’s impacts in Khanh Hoa have been severe. Many roads have been damaged or blocked by massive flooding and landslides. Four houses have collapsed so far. The storm came a week after typhoon Toraji triggered landslides that killed at least 20 people in Nha Trang.

On Sunday, Usagi made landfall in the southern beach town Vung Tau before weaking into a tropical depression. It caused severe flooding in the nearby Ho Chi Minh City, collapsing dozens of houses along the southern coast.

 
 
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