VietNamNet Bridge – Heavy rain continued to flood parts of southern HCM City last Saturday as the city's billion dollars worth of anti-flooding infrastructure could not drain the water out fast enough.



Floodwater hits HCM City's Nguyen Huu Canh Road in Binh Thanh District, submerging hundreds of vehicles. The city continues to be submerged due to ineffective anti-flooding infrastructure – Photo: VNA/VNS


Do Tan Long, a senior official from the HCM City Anti-Flooding Center said the city's sewage systems, which was designed originally for rainfall of 86mm failed to deal with this year's rain, which is the highest recorded level by far at 142 mm.

Numerous streets of HCM City, the country's largest economic hub, turned into rivers in the span of three hours after torrential rain battered the city last Tuesday.

Thousands of the city's residents could not go home due to traffic jams and floods.

Traffic jams occurred at many junctions throughout the city, especially at Binh Thanh District where thousands of vehicles formed a 5km line.

Motorbike drivers had to push their engine-dead vehicles under the rain and rising water. The water level was reported to be as high as 1m at several locations.

Long said that the city's sewage systems, which were built in 2005, are no longer able to handle such a large amount of water within such a short amount of time on top of rising tides of nearby rivers.

He added that the city will continue with its anti-flooding effort by upgrading the current sewage system, which stretches over 200km in length throughout the city, various dredge canals and building at least three more reservoirs in the next five years to effectively end flooding in the city's 13 urban districts.

Experts, however, had little confidence in the city's anti-flooding plan. Asst. Prof Ho Long Phi, Director of Centre for Water Management and Climate Change under the Viet Nam National University-HCM City told the Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper that the proposed projects with an estimated cost of VND11 trillion (US$ 480 million) barely covered one-fifth of the required investment to put a stop to flooding.

They also brought up the issue of real-estate developers' responsibility to help combat against flooding as rapid expansion of concrete in urban areas has been determined as one of the leading causes of flooding after heavy rains.

Meanwhile, in central province of Thanh Hoa, the water level on the Buoi River was reported to reach 12.05m on Saturday.

The province reported two deaths, nearly two thousand houses and more than 7,600ha of agricultural lands flooded.

To date, damage was estimated at $9 million. Three thousand households and 700ha of rice fields ready for harvest along the Buoi River were still at risk as heavy rains were expected to hit the North this week.