Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mekong flooding causes widespread damage in Viet nam

Tran Phuong Anh at A relentless series of tropical storms and typhoons has filled the Mekong River to record levels, causing widespread flooding that now covers much of south and central Viet Nam in water. The disaster has damaged over a hundred thousand homes, affecting 700,000 residents and killing 49 people – 43 of them children.

One of the hardest hit areas is the southern province of An Giang, where nearly 19,000 homes have been flooded. Some 54 schools are submerged in flood waters, interrupting the educations of over 1,300 students.

...And disasters like this seem to be getting worse. “Although local people are used to seasonal floods and disaster preparedness is part of their daily life, the weather has become more and more unpredictable, and we’ve seen an increased number of cyclones,” said Ho Viet Hiep, Vice Chairman of An Giang’s Provincial People’s Committee.

The Mekong floods have caused an alarming number of child fatalities, most of them due to drowning. “In emergency situations children, particularly young children, are the most vulnerable,” said Nguyen Van Nghia, a child protection expert from the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. “Many live in houses surrounded by water, and if their parents fail to keep an eye on them for just a second, they might just quickly fall into the water. The flow is currently so strong that it takes a few minutes to sweep the child away as far as a kilometer.”...

A flood in Vietnam, shot by Bút Chiến, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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