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September 28, 2021, 2:07 am

How did the flooding which killed over 40 people occur?

(10:33:51 AM 21/11/2013)
( - At least 41 people died, over 10 bridges were swept away, two large mountains struck down to the road, and hundreds of thousands of houses were sunken. These are the consequences left by the latest tropical depression in central Vietnam.

The rainfall of up to 600 mm is the cause of the historic flooding in the central region.


The bulletin of the National Center for Hydrometeorology on November 15 said that the tropical depression after storm Haiyan would move deeply into the central provinces from Phu Yen to Binh Thuan, so people in Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh did not prepare for it. As a result, they could not do anything when torrential rains which lasted throughout the night of November 15 until the afternoon of November 16, caused flooding.


Mr. Nham Xuan Sy, Director of the Quang Ngai Province Meteorological Forecast Center, explained that the north edge of circulation of the tropical depression associated with aloft active East winds and enhanced cold air caused widespread heavy rains in the central and central highland provinces. This combination caused intense rains, which were up to 600mm in the upland districts of Binh Dinh and Quang Ngai province, making terrified flooding.


The flood rose to a height of more than 15 m and submerged many highland villages in the district of Ba To, Quang Ngai. The flood also pulled down many houses, swept away 10 bridges across the Lieng and To rivers and isolated thousands of families in six communes. Also on the night of November 16, two huge mountains collapsed down to Highway 24, blocking traffic throughout the day.


"I’ve never seen such as strong and fast flooding. It was so horrible!" said Ba To district chairman Le Han Phong. Within two hours from 4-6pm on November 15, the waters rose by over 3 m, submerging residential areas. "The upland Ba Dong Commune had never seen flood but this time hundreds of houses were sunken deeply. Initial damage estimated after the floods is more than VND179 billion ($14 million) for our district," Phong said.


Two other districts in Quang Ngai that were badly affected by floods are Nghia Hanh and Tu Nghia. To date, the province has had 15 deaths, one missing and 49 injured by floods.


Mr. Phan Binh, Chairman of Nghia Hanh district said that local and central government carefully prepared for storm Haiyan but forecasts about this flooding came to local governments very late, causing difficulty for flood resistance. Before the flood came, the weather had been dried dry. On the early morning of November 15, it began rain, with strong winds. At around 7pm, flood rose highly, submerging residential areas.


In Tu Nghia district, flooding killed six people, washed away tons of rice, corn and tens of thousands of cattle and poultry. Mr. Le Trung Thanh, Vice Chairman of Tu Nghia District said the forecast was wrong since the flood was over 1m higher, causing severe damage to his district.


According to Quang Ngai authorities, the province has 117 reservoirs. Due to heavy rain on November 15, water spilled over 96 reservoirs. Also, the province has three hydropower plants, including two Dakdrinh hydroelectric plants that let’s water spill freely and Nuoc Trong that discharged water at 1,500 m3/s.


In Binh Dinh, after two days of living amid water, local people are still stunned because this was the most severe flooding so far in the province. It engulfed many places in Binh Dinh. The worst-hit area is the town of An Nhon.


"Our family was sleeping when the flood came. We woke when our bodies got wet. We climbed onto the table, then the cabinet and moved out the tiles to get onto the roof. After 30 minutes, the flood rose by several meters. The entire village became a sea of water. Sitting on the roof and looking outside I was so scare because there was nothing to cling to," recalled Mr. Nguyen Doan Chau, 32 years, a resident of Liem Truc village, An Nhon town.


The floods killed five people in An Nhon town, of the total of 17 deaths in Binh Dinh. Floods also demolished the abutment of Liem Truc Bridge in An Nhon town, making traffic congestion on the Highway 1A – the major road connecting the north to the south – for two days.


Chairman Le Huu Loc of Binh Dinh province said that fast rising floods was due to heavy rains of 300-400 mm, not by water discharge from reservoirs. According to Loc, reservoirs in Binh Dinh are mainly irrigation lakes, including the Dinh Binh Lake as the largest with 220 million m3. Because of heavy rain, the water overflowed from this reservoir.


Before people's suspicions about the large-scale reservoirs in Binh Dinh discharging water, causing 17 deaths, Mrs. Tran Thi Thu Ha, Vice Chair of Binh Dinh Province, confirmed that the Dinh Binh Lake did not discharge water.


In other provinces in the Central and Central Highlands regions, this tropical depression also caused serious damage to people and property. By November 19, at least 41 people died, 5 went missing, and hundreds of thousands of house were damaged...

At present, flooding on rivers is going down slowly.


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