A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The central region of Viet Nam was experiencing prolonged heavy rain since 6 October 2020. This is due to the combination of numerous weather systems – the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone combining with cold air as well as tropical storms Linfa and Nangka. Tropical Storm Linfa made landfall in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces in Central Viet Nam in the morning of 11 October 2020 and brought along 150 to 300 millimetres of rain. Tropical Storm Nangka made landfall in the morning of 14 October 2020 in the northern provinces of Viet Nam which brought along a further 150 millimetres of rain. On 16 October 2020, another tropical depression (Tropical Depression INVEST 94W) made landfall in the central provinces of Viet Nam. Additionally, Tropical Storm Saudel hit Viet Nam on 25 October closely followed by Typhoon Molave on 28 October. Typhoon Molave was one of the most devastating typhoons making landfall in Vietnam in decades. The typhoon made landfall after a series of tropical storms hitting Viet Nam and had caused severe flooding and at least three landslides which tragically resulted in the loss of 40 lives. 44 people are still missing, and six people are severely injured. On 5 November, Typhoon Goni made landfall in Viet Nam and Tropical Storm Atsani made landfall on 7 November. Tropical storm Vamco, was the latest to hit central Viet Nam as it made landfall on 15 November 2020.
The recurrent storms bringing heavy rainfall have caused water levels in rivers to rise rapidly. The Viet Nam National Disaster Management Agency (VNDMA) has reported that many areas in central Vietnam recorded accumulated rainfall of more than 1,600 millimeters between 5 to 20 October 2020, with peaks of 2,400 millimeters in some locations over the same period. The Hieu River (Quang Tri), Bo River (Hue), Gianh River and Kien Giang River (Quang Binh) have reached historically high levels, and in some locations flood waters have exceeded the previous historical highs recorded in 1979 and 1999. In addition, hydropower plants began releasing water from reservoirs to prevent them from bursting. Consequently, large-scale floods appeared in the provinces from Nghe An to Quang Ngai province, with major floods concentrated in places from Quang Binh to Quang Nam province.