VietNamNet Bridge – Typhoon Usagi, which weakened into a tropical depression over the weekend, hit HCM City hard on Sunday, damaging electrical cables, stranding cars on streets, and flooding basements.
Thousands of cars were stranded on streets after HCM City experienced its highest-ever rainfall within a 24-hour period. VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Diep
Authorities in HCM City and the neighbouring provinces of Binh Duong, Long An, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Sunday began cleaning up streets, repairing damage, and pumping water out of schools and basements.
The Southern Power Corporation of the Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN SPC) on Sunday directed all of its units to immediately repair all power stations and lines damaged by the typhoon.
By Monday, the city’s electricity system had resumed operation, according to EVN SPC.
In the health sector, Dr Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the city’s Preventive Medicine Center, said that all district-level health centres had been asked to be on the alert for potential outbreaks of disease.
“Storm No 9 weakened but heavy rain and flooding could occur again. It’s the perfect environment for dengue fever, hand-foot-mouth disease and measles,” Dung said.
The centre asked all 24 districts to provide information about preventive measures to raise awareness in the community about these diseases.
People should wash their hands regularly with soap and water, disinfect their homes, schools and public playgrounds, and get measles vaccinations, he said.
Local agencies have been asked to closely monitor schools and take steps to prevent the spread of dengue fever.
During the storm, thousands of cars were stranded on flooded streets because their engines had died.
A representative of Bảo Việt Insurance said that owners of cars with damaged engines might have to pay tens of million of dong, even hundreds of million of dong, to repair their cars, depending on the type of insurance they have.
A representative of Liberty Insurance said that cars with damaged engines could cost up to billions of dong to repair. Not all cases will be covered by insurance.
The city’s Fire Fighting and Prevention Police Department has been helping pump water out of buildings with flooded basements, such as the Ngoc Khanh Apartment building in District 5 and more than 10 building basements on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District.
On Monday, students did not attend school in HCM City, but teachers and others helped pump water out of their schools to prepare for the next day.
The highest-ever rainfall within 24 hours in HCM City on Sunday (Nov 25) flooded about 102 spots in the city.
On Monday, some places such as Dinh Bo Linh Street in Binh Thanh District were still flooded and vehicles could not move on the streets.
The same situation occurred on National Highway 13, a section of Binh Trieu Bridge that extends to Hang Xanh intersection, the An Lac traffic circle, Phan Huy Ich Street in Tan Binh District and the Quoc Huong Street in District 2. As of Monday at 5 pm, they were still flooded.
Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, deputy director of the city’s Steering Centre for Flood Control, said nearly 700 workers had cleared rubbish stuck in sewers.
The centre also used 27 pumps to drain water on Sunday, but the city’s drainage system could not handle all of the water, Dung said.
To prevent loss of life and property, reservoirs and other water supply and sewage systems would operate at full capacity, he said.
Authorities in HCM City and the neighbouring provinces of Binh Duong, Long An, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Sunday began cleaning up streets, repairing damage, and pumping water out of schools and basements. Photo Hoang Hai
Unprepared for deluge
Nguyen Van Truc, deputy director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the city’s flood prevention plans had plans for only a maximum of 200mm of rainfall. At least 400 mm fell on HCM City within 24 hours.
Vu Hai, a former lecturer at the Technology and Civil Engineering universities in Hanoi, said the city’s investments in flood prevention were significant, but that planning was poor and inadequate, and did not fit reality.
Three years ago, the city planned to build 103 anti-flood reservoirs around the city, but none of them have been built.
The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said that Storm No 9 was the ninth storm to hit Vietnam this year, and several more may occur before the end of the year.
The storm was predicted to strike Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces, but it weakened when it made landfall.
It changed direction and headed toward HCM City and neighboring provinces.
The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting had predicted that the typhoon would result in 200-220mm of rain. But it actually totalled 300-400mm, depending on the area.
Nha Be District recorded 345mm, the city centre received 301mm, and Can Gio on the coast 293mm. Tan Binh District recorded a staggering 407.6mm.
Le Dinh Quyet, deputy director of the forecasting department at the Southern Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said it was highest-ever rainfall recorded in HCM City within a 24-hour period.
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