Viet Nam

Vietnam: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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GLIDE FF-2008-000211-VNM

This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at present. The Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC) will, however, accept direct assistance to provide support to the affected population.

The Situation

Torrential and persistent rainfall over the past 72 hours caused widespread flooding in various parts of the North and the Central provinces of Vietnam. Cities and provinces badly affected by flood waters include Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang, Ha Noi, Hoa Binh, Ninh Binh, Ha Tinh, Nghe An and Quang Binh. According to government information, 85 have been reported dead so far. Up to 20,000 families in the capital city of Hanoi are affected by the floods while 2,000 families in rural areas along the Red River have been moved to safer areas.

Evacuation has also been carried out in areas where dykes have been breached, including the provinces of Ninh Binh and Vinh Phuc. As many as 200 families have been evacuated from the latter province. Mudslides have also been reported in many areas. In Ninh Binh province, the breaching of one dyke has seriously flooded seven communes while in Ha Nam province, three other communes have been affected as well.

In many provinces, houses have been destroyed or damaged by flood water. Damage to farmland and aquaculture is huge while business and production enterprises have been suspended over the last three days. In the capital city of Hanoi, thousands of families have had no access to fresh clean water for this period as flooding has caused power outages, and stopped water pumps. In response, the local authorities have been distributing clean water to those affected.

Current figures numbering those affected and damage to property are as follow:

Number of
people
badly
affected
Houses
destroyed
Houses
flooded/
damaged
Rice/
vegetable
fields
Aquaculture
resources
Drainage
systems
Dykes
damaged
Rural
roads
damaged
600,000
128
houses
106,800
houses
241.118
hectares
25.456
hectares
457 units
84.847 m3
168.451m

From 30 October to 2 November, rainfall in the plain areas and the midlands of the Northern provinces reached between 100mm and 300mm, particularly in some areas where rainfall was more than 350mm. This includes Ha Noi (700 mm), Hoa Binh (547mm), Vinh Phuc (425mm), and Lang Son (610 mm).

Daily activities in many parts of the country, including large cities, have been disrupted in many ways. Utilities such as electricity and roads between provinces have been severely cut off, while transportation within cities such as Hanoi have also been greatly disrupted. Many areas within the city are waterlogged with levels up to two metres, leading the government to take the decision to allow school and university students a week's leave beginning Monday, 3 November. According to local news sources, up to five hospitals in Hanoi have been flooded up to 60-70 cm on the first level, forcing all patients, personnel and equipment to shift to higher floors. Access remains impossible for small vehicles and even ambulances due to flooding of the hospital compounds; the only possible means of access is currently by truck or cyclo. These hospitals have been running on generators ever since the floods hit, but normal power sources were restored yesterday (3 November).

Local marketplaces have been closed due to the lack of transportation for goods and services while in places where markets are open, food prices have risen sharply. In order to stabilize prices, the Vietnam Food Company is vending rice by mobile truck to the affected people.

Hanoi itself and other provinces such as Vinh Phuc in the north continue to experience heavy rainfall and increasing water levels. In the northern central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh, heavy rain and rising water levels are also forecast.

The government is leading response efforts through military personnel and citizens to evacuate those affected, to reinforce dykes and to help in the distribution of relief items.

A meeting by the disaster management working group (DMWG) represented by Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies, international and national NGOs today (4 November) discussed the flood situation, highlighting damages and the affected population.

Map: Viet Nam: Floods (as of 04 Nov 2008) - Situation Map