Torrential downpours, flash floods, inundate capital city
Ha Noi and northern provinces have had their biggests falls for the year.
HA NOI — Ha Noi yesterday suffered from the heaviest rains so far this year, more than 130mm, due to weakened tropical storm Soudeler, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre.
The rain lasted several hours and caused 0.5-1m floods on dozens of streets, including Ton Duc Thang, Duong Thanh, Tho Nhuom, Thai Ha, Giai Phong and Tay Son. The floods also caused some major traffic jams.
"We mobilised all workers and machines to drain the water, but it was beyond our ability," said Nguyen Trong Tuan, head of the Technical Department of the Ha Noi Water Drainage Company.
"My motorbike broke down after going through a place which was almost waist deep. And I’ve seen lots of other people in similar situations," said Nguyen Hoang, on Quoc Tu Giam Street.
At least 30 trees on Hang Tre, Duong Thanh, Giang Vo, Ly Thuong Kiet and Xuan Dieu had been uprooted as well, causing accidents and traffic jams.
A tree on Hang Tre Street fell down on a bus and a taxi. Luckily, no one was injured, said Do Van Thang, from the Ha Noi Green Trees and Park Company.
The company was making efforts to clean the roads and check on trees with a high risk of falling down, said Thang.
The Prime Minister had just approved a VND14 trillion (US$777.7 million) project to build water drains in the city, including the construction of four more pumping stations and drainage systems to the Hong, Nhue and Chau rivers, said Tuan
Storm Soudeler, weakening into a tropical depression, also caused big rains in the northern provinces of Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Thai Binh and Quang Ninh, as well as in Hai Phong City.
So far, no deaths had been reported and material losses, including houses, roads and crops were not considerable, thanks to local authorities, border guards and rescue forces, said Nguyen Xuan Dieu, head of the National Committee for Flood and Storm Control
The northern provinces timely called boats at sea to safe places and removed people in lowlands and flood-prone areas to higher ground before the storm made landfall.
This tropical depression would continue to cause rains in northern provinces over the next few days, said Tran Van Phat, the deputy general director of the National Hydro-Meteorological Centre.
The tropical depression had now moved to Taiwan, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre.
At 7pm yesterday, it was at 23.4 degrees north latitude and 120.1 degrees east longitude, on the west coast of Taiwan. Winds near the eye of the depression had a strength of force between six and seven, with stronger gusts.
The centre forecast that the tropical depression would move into Fujian Province in China today, and weaken into a low pressure front.
The National Committee for Flood and Storm Control would continue to warn provinces about risks of floods and landslides