Viet Nam

Mountainous district recovers from flooding

YÊN BÁI – Signs of revival have brightened up Mù Cang Chải District in northern mountainous Yên Bái Province, three months after a historic flood swept through the area.

By around 5.30 am on August 3, significant portions of the district had been submerged by floodwaters. Large rocks of between 5-10 tonnes carried by the water caused serious damage to homes and property. Even two-storey houses made of cement were destroyed in the natural disaster.

Lầu Thị Mú, a resident of Kim Nọi commune, recalled that the flood swept everything away, including her house and contents.

The flood, triggered by prolonged torrential rains, swept away 26 houses, damaged 14 others and forced hundreds of households to be relocated. The disaster killed eight people and left six others missing.

Floods also caused serious damage to transportation systems, agricultural production and local life. Many roads in Mù Cang Chải were submerged by more than a metre of mud, soil and water. The total damage is estimated at around VNĐ150 billion (US$6.6 million). The high toll, however, did not discourage local authorities and residents. They worked together, and thanks to nationwide support, they gradually resumed normal life. New buds have sprouted on land that was destroyed and local people have started to go about their business again. They have moved to new houses and no longer have to live in temporary shelters.

“We now have a new house built far away from the spring. It will not be swept away by floods,” she said. “We have also been provided with rice and a goat, helping to reduce initial difficulties,” Mú said.

“I thought we would not recover from the flood’s consequences,” she told VOV online newspaper.

Mùa A Lềnh from Kim Nọi commune also had his house destroyed by the flood. He now has a new home thanks to financial assistance from the authorities and community. He was also presented with a cow, food and basic appliances to resume daily life.

With support from the Government, ministries, agencies, organisations and individuals nationwide, local residents have gradually stabilised their lives, said Chairman of the communes’ People’s Committee Mùa A Súa.

“The commune received financial aid worth over VNĐ18 billion,” he said.

Chairman of Mù Cang Chải District’s People’s Committee Vũ Tiến Đức said after receiving reports from locals about their losses, district authorities sent forces to the areas for rescue and support activities. The district had delivered aid worth about VNĐ10 million to each family with members who had died or were missing, and VNĐ2.5 million to each family with injured members. The funds were taken from the district’s budget.

The district official said each household that lost their house or suffered damage due to landslides during and after the flooding and storms, had also received aid worth VNĐ25 million and VNĐ10 million respectively. A rescue campaign was launched with more than 2,370 people in the district participating.

“Local residents have gradually stabilised their lives. As many as 140 households were relocated and moved to new houses. Most children are already attending schools again,” he said. - VNS