Highest tide in 50 years floods HCMC

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High tide inundates Luong Dinh Cua Street in Ho Chi Minh City's District 2 on October 30

High tides said to have hit a 50-year record left several areas in Ho Chi Minh City with flooded streets, broken embankments and dikes in the last few days of October.

On the evening of October 27, a series of streets were flooded, with some streets submerged half a meter under water.

Flooding also caused bad traffic jams in districts 2, 6, 7, 8 as well as the districts of Binh Thanh, Binh Tan and Phu Nhuan during rush hours.

Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, a resident in District 7, said: "It was the highest tide in the area. I have been living here (Huynh Tan Phat Street) for the past 10 years.

"Water from ditches and canals flowed into people's houses in the evening and only receded the following morning."

Nguyen Minh Giam, deputy director of the Southern Hydro-meteorological Forecast Center, said the water level at the Phu An Station reached 1.57 meters, the highest in 50 years, on October 28.

The same day, high tides also broke a three-meter stretch of embankment in Thu Duc District's Linh Dong Ward, submerging dozens of houses that were a meter under water.

One day earlier, water levels on the Saigon River reached 1.55 meters, or above the third warning level, causing flooding at least half a meter high in districts 2 and 8 and Thu Duc, and Phu Nhuan districts.

On October 31, although the high tide was slowly receding, floodwaters continued to inundate streets and homes in low lying areas of the city.

Thousands of vehicles and people waded through flooded streets, with students and office-workers struggling to reach their destinations on Monday morning.

The worst flooding was reported on Luong Dinh Cua Street, where hundreds of motorcycles broke down causing a chaotic traffic jam near the Thu Thiem Bridge.

HCMC People's Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan has asked the district governments to focus on maintaining the dikes, monitoring irrigation and environmental sanitation projects, construction sites and drainage works in the city.

He also asked relevant departments to relocate households from high-risk, landslide-prone areas to safer ground.

In related news, flood waters from upstream Mekong River coupled with rising tides inundated streets, houses and fields in the Mekong Delta provinces in late October.

The Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control said Tuesday (November 1) that seasonal floods in the Mekong Delta had so far killed 65 people, including 57 children, and submerged more than 125,800 houses and 23,654 hectares of paddies.

The flooding caused losses of more than VND2.8 trillion (US$133 million), the committee said.

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