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Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

By Dinh Van, Quynh Tran, Quang Tue   August 15, 2022 | 04:01 am PT
As heavy rains battered HCMC Monday afternoon, the usual scenes of flooding and traffic chaos roads played out on many roads.
Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

It began to rain around 3 p.m., and roads in several districts were inundated soon after.

The heavy rain knocked open a manhole cover at the intersection of Tran Hung Dao and Huynh Minh Dat streets in District 5, causing floodwaters to form a whirlpool.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

A motorcyclist who inadvertently drove through the flooded manhole was knocked over but people in the area rushed to help.

Thu Phuong, a 56-year-old woman selling refreshments near the intersection, said it wasn’t the first time that the manhole had been lifted up by heavy rain.

"Many people from the drainage company have come to fix it. However, it still gets pushed open by the force of water pressure and becomes extremely dangerous for people driving by," she said.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

Pedestrians cross a flooded section of Bui Vien Street in District 1. Cars turned on their headlights after it became dark and visibility became poor.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

At a bar on Bui Vien Street, foreigners rest their legs on other chairs and watch the flood waters.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

"My shop hasn't had any customers since 1 p.m. Now the flood waters have pushed trash and debris to the front of my house, and I have to clean up," said Lan, a restaurant owner.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

At 3 p.m., cars and motorcycles on Pham Van Dong Street turn on their headlights.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

At 4 p.m., the intersection of To Ngoc Van and Pham Van Dong streets was heavily flooded, submerging a nearly 200-meter section of the road.

Locals said the section gets flooded often and the rain water flows strongly because of its slope.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

To avoid being pushed or tipped over by water waves, a female worker walks near the concrete lane divider as she walks down To Ngoc Van Street.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

A woman's motorbike was tipped over by floodwaters.

"This is where I live. When it pours heavily here, I push my motorbike and do not dare to ride my vehicle down the flooded street," she said.

Saigon traffic descends into chaos after year's heaviest downpour

Traffic confusion at the Hang Xanh intersection in Binh Thanh District at 5 p.m. as the rain has stopped.

According to the Southern Hydrometeorological Station, the rainfall measured in District 1 after two hours was 102 mm, making it the heaviest downpour in the city this year.

By 6 p.m., a total 42 streets across the city were flooded, exceeding the Construction Department's recent forecast that a maximum 39 streets would be flooded at a time following heavy rains.

More rains are forecast in HCMC and the southern region in the coming days due to impacts of a low-pressure area.

Commuters struggle on flooded streets following heavy rains in Saigon Monday afternoon.
 
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