With high tide peaking, Saigon braces for heavy flooding

By Huu Nguyen   September 30, 2019 | 01:09 pm GMT+7
With high tide peaking, Saigon braces for heavy flooding
Two people on a motorbike get swept over by water as a car passes through a flooded street during high tides in HCMC, September 29, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

High tides in Saigon are expected to peak at the record 1.77 meters on Monday, heavily flooding several areas in the city.

The Southern Hydrometeorological Center, which recorded a water level of 1.65 meters on Sunday at the Phu An Station near the Saigon River, has forecast high tides to peak at 1.75-1.77 meters at 5 p.m. on Monday.

The level will surpass the record of 1.72 meters in 2017.

Water levels will remain above the alarm level until Thursday, and start reducing as the tide recedes Friday.

The high tides will combine with heavy rain to trigger heavy flooding in lower areas of the city, the center cautioned.

Several streets in the city, including Co Bac, Co Giang, Nguyen Thai Binh and Calmette in the downtown District 1, have already been flooded since Saturday as sewers overflowed.

Severe flooding was also reported on Sunday in Districts 2 and 7, home to large expat communities in the city.

Nguyen Thi Bay, a District 2 resident, said: "I had to pour out the water [that flooded my house] all morning, all afternoon. Every time a car passes by, the water comes in. When the tides rose at 3 a.m., I gave up and couldn’t sleep afterwards."

Nguyen Thi Bay, 78, pours water out of her house in District 2, Saigon, September 29, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

Nguyen Thi Bay, 78, pours water out of her house in District 2, Saigon, September 29, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

The HCMC Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Rescue has called on relevant authorities to prepare barricades, sewers and pumps to alleviate possible flooding.

For years, scenes of people wading through or getting stuck on flooded streets in their motorbikes or cars during high tides or heavy rains have become common in Saigon.

A major part of the city can lie below sea level in 50 years, turning it into a swamp, according to Laurent Umans, First Secretary for Water and Climate Change at the Netherlands Embassy.

A woman pushes her motorbike carrying her daughter to school as a tide embankment broke in District 8, HCMC, September 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

A woman pushes her motorbike carrying her daughter to school as a tide embankment broke in District 8, HCMC, September 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

 
 
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