Central Vietnam residents go through hell and high water
On Thursday morning, floodwaters in Hoi An, a popular tourism hotspot and a UNESCO heritage site in Quang Nam Province, continued rising quickly to 2.23 meters. Its Bach Dang and Nguyen Phuc Chu Streets were submerged under a meter of water.
“This is the first time in 45 years Hoi An has been hit by six floods in one month …,” said Nguyen The Hung, the town’s vice chairman.
Storm Etau, which made landfall Tuesday morning and weakened into a tropical depression, brought prolonged rains to Quang Nam and other provinces.
The An Hoi bridge over the Hoai River is completely submerged.
Sanitation workers have to use boats to remove waste piled up on either sides of the bridge.
On inundated Nguyen Thai Hoc Street some tourists have hired a boat to enjoy a different experience. This is not an organized service. All tourist activities in Hoi An have been suspended since early October following the heavy rains and severe flooding.
Hoi An’s traditional art performance house is under nearly one meter of floodwaters. “This (latest) flood was not big but caused long-lasting flooding. The floodwaters are receding slowly,” said a local resident.
The water in and around Nguyen Dinh Tien’s house is more than a foot deep. “I live in the area often hit by floods so I am used to it. Whenever I hear an announcement about rising floodwater, the whole family goes to market to stock up, mainly on food,” Tien said.
Tien’s family have their lunch in the garret, surrounded by furniture moved up to the area. All five members of his family are confined to the garret when the house gets flooded.
In Thua Thien-Hue Province, water from upstream Huong (Perfume) River poured over Dap Da Street in the center of Hue Town. Authorities have fenced the street and have stationed security personnel to prevent people from crossing it.
A kilometer long section of Highway 49B in Phu Vang District is under nearly one meter of flood waters.
Authorities have fenced the section and put up warning signs to prevent people from entering the area. However, some people still rent trucks for VND50,000 ($2.16) per person to get themselves and their vehicles across the flooded road.
For the past three days, Thua Thien-Hue has been hit with rainfall of up to 300 mm.
Many houses in the old towns of Bao Vinh and Huong Tra Town are under water almost three feet deep.
Nguyen Van Dung, a 55-year-old resident, said the floodwaters rose quickly on Wednesday night, and his family was unable to pack up and leave. “Never before has the flood happened continuously and lasted for so long like this year,” Dung said.
Residents of Bao Vinh use aluminum boats to travel through the town’s streets. Some people hire boats to carry their motorbikes over the flooded area to get to downtown Hue for work.
Many families in the old town have locked their houses and moved to their relatives’ homes, uncertain when they will be able to return.
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