Ho Chi Minh City faces severe floods

HO CHI MINH CITY (Bernama) – High tides have hit Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, submerging several of its streets in flood waters and causing terrible traffic congestion, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

The tides have flooded several streets and alleys in the city since Wednesday with its central area experiencing rising tides for the first time.

Huynh Tan Phat street in district 7, Le Van Luong street in Nha Be district, Ho Ngoc Lam street in Binh Tan district and Vo Van Kiet avenue were among spots severely affected with business activities suspended while homes and assets have been damaged.

Hundreds of vehicles stalled due to flood water, have also caused traffic jams. Responding to the rising tides, people set up simple anti-flood systems for their homes, using sandbags and Styrofoam boxes, which had little effect. Ton Thi Bay of Nha Be district complained to Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper about the rising tides’ consequences.

“Dealing with the tides is exhausting. I feel like I am living in the Mekong Delta, not in the city,” she said. HCM City invested nearly US$110 million in flood prevention projects in 2017 but the projects seemed to have brought little improvement with the city facing severe flooding due to rising tides, water discharge and torrential rains recently.

At the sixth session of the HCM City People’s Council on December 4, experts suggested massive urban development and skyscraper construction contributed to the situation.

Deputy Nguyen Van Xuan of Binh Thanh district cited Nguyen Huu Canh street as an example.

With five residence complexes and more than 18,000 apartments, this area has become the most severely flooded spot of HCM City. Moreover, the huge population and traffic influx have made the street subside and destroyed its drainage system, leading to frequent waterlogging, according to a report issued by HCM City Department of Transport.

The Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station said that, under the effect of strong winds from South China Sea, the tide level on Sai Gon – Dong Nai river system had risen quickly in the last two days and reached its peak of 1.68m, 0.22m higher than the warning level three, on Wednesday morning.