Monday, January 12, 2009

Hundreds of houses flooded in Vietnam

News24 (South Africa): Broken dykes due to high tides have caused the flooding of more than 400 houses in Ho Chi Minh City, a disaster official said on Monday. "The latest broken section of dyke was breached at about 04:00 today, flooding more than 100 houses," said Mai Tuan Binh, head of an irrigation unit in the Thu Duc district of Vietnam's largest city.

Binh said the five-metre break in the dyke resulted in the flooding of houses in 20 to 80 centimetres of water, destroying furniture, refrigerators, and several dozen acres of decorative plants and vegetables. The flooding disrupted traffic across Thu Duc District.

"This was the highest tide in the past 50 years in Ho Chi Minh City," said Binh. He blamed the high tides on rising sea levels due to climate change. The local government had not yet finished repairing the dyke as of noon Monday.

…Vietnam's Southern Hydro-Meteorological Centre had forecast high tides of up to 1.5m above sea level on Monday.…The city's Committee for Storm and Flood Control said tides had plunged some areas under five metres of water, threatening hundreds of families. Some locals blamed the collapse on construction of a new port, which they said had changed water currents and caused erosion. Vietnam is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change….

Wrong city, wrong time, right country: Emergency workers in a flood in Hanoi in November 2008, shot by hunganh3, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

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