Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

By Hoang Tao, Huu Khoa, Le Hoang   October 21, 2020 | 02:08 pm GMT+7
Military and police personnel were dispatched to central Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Ha Tinh provinces Tuesday afternoon to assist and evacuate residents trapped by floodwaters.
Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Le Cong Loi, 46, in Quang Tri uses a makeshift raft made of tires and buckets to transport his wife and certain necessities to safety.

For the last two weeks, central Vietnam has been struck by severe floods and landslides triggered by heavy, long-lasting rains. At least 111 people have died in the region as of Tuesday, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

On Tuesday morning, water levels downstream of Sa Lung and Ben Hai rivers in Vinh Linh District, Quang Tri Province rose. Authorities subsequently warned residents to evacuate to safety at around 8 a.m.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

The elderly, women and children are brought to higher ground by dump trucks, rickshaws and carts.

Le Duc Kiem, chairman of Hien Thanh Commune in Quang Tri's Vinh Linh District, said dozens of military and police personnel were dispatched to evacuate residents within the span of a day. Over 190 houses across the commune have been flooded, he added.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Evacuees in life vests and raincoats are transferred by motorboats. In certain areas, water levels have risen chest high.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

According to one local, rapid flooding that originated upstream of Sa Lung River in Quang Tri caught many off guard and swamped several homes. The third flood since October 6 lasted five days in total.

Since October 6, at least 49 people have died amid flooding in Quang Tri while around 53,000 homes across the province have been flooded.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Quang Binh residents were evacuated after Storm Saudel entered the East Sea on Tuesday night. Currently, supplies in Le Thuy District are waiting to be shipped to those trapped by flooding in the area.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

A man takes shelter on top of a roof to avoid floodwaters in Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Water levels in Quang Binh's Le Thuy District have submerged many properties. Pictured is what remains of a house gate.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Le Thi Gam, from Quang Binh, says many of her belongings were swept away by floods.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

A family travels by makeshift raft across Kien Giang Town in Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

"We were going home yesterday when our boat got flipped, but luckily we were rescued. I still have my mother and my children at home, but the rains and floods have been getting stronger, so I'm very worried," said a tearful Nguyen Thi Lieu, 40, from Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Rescuers sail to receive relief aids to bring back to flood-trapped communities in Quang Binh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

In Cam Xuyen District of Ha Tinh Province, thousands of houses have been submerged underwater as of Tuesday, prompting the military and police to either evacuate residents or deliver supplies to waterlogged areas.

"The elderly, children and the sick are prioritized to be evacuated first," said Nguyen Viet Tuan, deputy head of the general staff division of Nghe An Province's Traffic Police Department, which has been called upon to support forces in the neighboring Ha Tinh amid the floods.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

"Floods came and ruined all our food, there's nothing left to eat in the house. We just wish for some rice, instant noodles and water now," said Bien Thi An, 49, in Ha Tinh.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Nguyen Huu Quan, 53, of Ha Tinh has to enter his house via the roof. His herd of cattle has been safely evacuated to National Highway 1.

Central Vietnam scrambles to cope with worsening floods

Hoang Thi Tam, 78, along with her children are evacuated thanks to the help of a local man.

"It's been decades since I last saw such horrible floods. All I can see out there is white," said the Ha Tinh woman.

Storm Saudel, which entered the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, Tuesday night, is expected to hit the region in the coming days. The storm's possible impacts on the region have yet to be confirmed.

 
 
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