Hydrologists have warned about imminent flooding in the Red River in northern Vietnam due to huge discharge of water from upstream reservoirs in China.
Water levels in the river rose to 31.7 m in Yen Bai Province – around level 3 in the five-tier- warning system – Monday before receding, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
However, levels in downstream sections, including in Hanoi, would continue to rise Tuesday, the center said.
In Hanoi, the water level is expected to rise from 2.6 m on October 11 to 3.4 m on October 13.
Further upstream, Lao Cai provincial authorities reported that water rising to its highest levels this year Sunday inundated vast areas of crops in the border province.
Luu Minh Hai, director of the Lao Cai Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Center, said Chinese authorities had informed Vietnam about the discharge of water in the river.
Inundated farms along Hanoi's Red River. Photo: Minh Hang
“Water was discharged [at a dam] some 100km upstream from Lao Cai town at a rate of 2.5 million liters per second.”
Many fishing boats in Lao Cai have been washed away while cargo boats from upstream in China have ended up in Lao Cai.
Dao Trong Tu, a consultant at the Vietnam River Network, said China has two huge dams on the Red River, the Namsa with an 80-meter dam and Madusan with a 105-meter dam, besides 20 other smaller ones.
In related news, the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting warned bad weather in the central region in the next few days.
Moderate to heavy rains with gales will hit coastal provinces from Nghe An to Quang Ngai from October 13 to 15.