Monday, June 13, 2011

Ho Chi Minh City floods due to poor planning

Viet Nam News: Urban experts have rejected suggestions that the worsening of HCM City's chronic flood situation is due to climate change, blaming it instead on rapid urban development and unplanned construction. The country's most populous city is forecast to be among the 10 places in the world to be worst affected by climate change.

But the experts pointed out that the sea level had risen by just a few millimetres because of global warming but the city's rivers were flowing dozens of centimetres higher. This was due to rapid urban development which caused an encroachment into drainage systems and prevented rainwater from seeping into the soil due to the extensive cementing around the city.

"The only way to effectively resolve the flooding is by good urban management," former member of the city People's Council, Dang Van Khoa, said. The city has been making efforts in the last 10 years to mitigate the flooding problem, including upgrades to the drainage systems of its five major canal basins and work to prevent flooding, which has managed to stop flooding in many places.

But new areas have started flooding. As a result, the number of flood-prone areas in the city has stood at around 100, according to the HCM City Steering Centre of Urban Flood Control Programme…

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