Viet Nam

Vietnam: Immediate report on flood and rain in the central provinces from Thua Thien - Hue to Khanh Hoa - 06 Dec 1999

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I. The Synopsis of Floods and Rains:
(According to Bulletin No.164/PCLBTW, issued by the Standing Office of the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control in Hanoi at 10:00 AM on 06 December 1999).
1. Rain:

From 01 December 1999 to 05 December 1999, due to effect of cold air in combination with activities of a strong east wind band, there were heavy-to-very heavy rains in the Coastal Central Provinces. Mean rainfalls were measured at 300 - 500 mm. Notably, mean rainfalls were at 600 - 1000 mm in Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, Da Nang, and Khanh Hoa Provinces (in some places mean rainfalls were over 1,000 mm such as 1,826 mm in Son Giang; 1,874 mm in Ba To; 1,687 mm in Minh Long; 1,063 mm in Tra Bong (Quang Ngai Province); and 1,440 mm in Tien Phuoc and 1,037 mm in Tam Ky (Quang Nam Province).

High volume of rains, mainly concentrated on the west of the Truong Son Range, caused flash floods in mountainous provinces such as Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa Provinces. Large flooding, on a large scale occurred in Provinces from Khanh Hoa to Thua Thien - Hue. At 09:00 on 04 December 1999, the flood water levels of the Tra Khuc River reached its peak, at 8.36 m (0.35 m surpassed the historical level in 1964). The flood water levels on rivers in Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa Provinces reached the highest levels in 40 years, surpassed the flood peaks in early November 1999. The flood water levels on rivers from Thua Thien -Hue to Khanh Hoa Provinces are fluctuating at high levels. The flood water level at 01:00 on 06 December on the Huong River at the Hue gauging station was 2.15 m (above Alarm Level II). The flood water level at 04:00 on 06 December on the Vu Gia River at the Ai Nghia gauging station was 8.38 m (0.42 m below Alarm Level III). The flood water level on the Thu Bon River at the Cau Lau gauging station was 3.99 mm (0.29 m above Alarm Level III). The flood water level on the Tra Khuc River at the Tra Khuc Bridge gauging station was 6.66 m (0.99 m above Alarm Level III). The flood water level on the Ve River at the Ve River Bridge gauging station was 5.32 m (1.22 m above Alarm Level III).

2. The Synopsis of inundation:

Heavy rain, concentrating in a short period of time, caused flash flood in some places in mountainous areas of Quang Ngai Province and caused large flooding on riverbanks from Thua Thien Hue to Khanh Hoa Provinces. Notably, there were very large floods on rivers Quang Ngai Province.

Flood water levels in most rivers reached their peaks and were above Alarm Level III. Notably, in Quang Ngai Province, there was historical flooding on the Tra Khuc Rivers. On rivers in Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, and Thua Thien Hue Provinces, there was large flooding, above Alarm Level III. Flooding caused heavy inundation on a large scale. Details of flooding and inundation in the Central Provinces are as follows:

a. In Thua Thien- Hue Province:

40 communes in Huong Tra, Quang Dien, Phu Vang, Huong Thuy, and Phu Loc Districts, and Hue City were seriously inundated. 54,000 houses were inundated. Some communes of the Phu Loc Provinces suffered from flash floods. 76 households were 1.5 m under water (of which 4 houses were swept away) and forced to move. The riverside areas of the Huong, Bo Rivers continued to be eroded. Many households were forced to move.

The K900 (K" Kilometre) of the 1A National Highway (on the temporary bridge in the Hai Van Pass) was eroded, causing transportation block. As of 22:00 on 03 December 1999 the transportation was temporarily cleared out. The K800 to K860 portions of the National Highway were 0.3 m to 1.0 m under water, causing traffic block. At 04:00 on 04 December 1999, transportation was cleared out.

b. In Quang Nam Province:

Flooding caused deep inundation in Dien Ban, Hoi An, Duy Xuyen Districts. 30,000 households were forced to move. 150,000 people are waiting for emergency relief. Houses, infrastructure and water resource works were seriously inundated.

c. In Quang Ngai Province:

Due to very heavy rain, concentrating in a short period, all paddy fields in the Province were 2.5 to 3.5 m under water. Residences in Hiep Duc, Duc Hoa, Duc Loi, Xuan Pho, Nghia An, Nghia Lam, Nghia Hiep, Hanh Tin Dong, Hanh Dung, Hanh Thinh Communes were 2 to 3.5 m inundated. 200,000 people are waiting for emergency relief. Most portions of the 1A national Highway were 1.0 to 1.5 m under water. Notably, some places in the Quang Ngai Town were 1.0 to 2.0 m inundated. At present, most transport lines are 1 to 3 m under water. Many areas are isolated, causing many difficulties for emergency relief missions. People in flood-affected areas are seriously short of foods and fresh water.

d. In Binh Dinh Province:

Mid and downstream of the Lai and Kon Rivers were seriously inundated. Notably, 45,000 households in An Lao, Hoai An, Hoai Nhon, Vinh Thanh, Tuy Phuoc, Phu Cat, An Nhon, Phu My Districts were in deep inundation. All traffic roads, communication systems are broken down.

e. In Phu Yen Province

Low areas of the Tuy Hoa Town were 0.8 m under water.
Many portions of the 1A National Highway were eroded.

f. In Khanh Hoa Provinces:

The Van Ninh, Ninh Hoa, Dien Khanh, and Cam Ranh Districts and Nha Trang City were seriously inundated.

3. The Synopsis of Reservoirs:

On 04 December 1999, the flood water levels on all reservoirs reached their peaks and are now falling slowly. At the Phu Ninh Reservoir, the highest flood level measured at 12:00 on 04 December 1999 was at 34.37 m. Due to heavy rain, as of 07:00 on 05 December 1999, the flood water level was at 34.44 m (above the peak level on 04 December 1999) and now is falling. The flood water level at 06:00 on 06 December 1999 was 33.36 m.

II. Damages caused by flooding:

As of 19:00 on 05 December 1999, according to preliminary reports, the situational damages are as follows:

People:
+ Dead: 64 (of which, 15 in Quang Nam Province, 21 in Quang Ngai Province, 13 in Binh Dinh Province)
+ Injured: 31
+ Missing: 4

Houses:
+ Collapsed or swept away: 1,207
+ Destroyed: 362,232
+ Moved: more than 10,000

Paddy crops destroyed: 28,793 ha
(See attached Table for details)

III. The Activities in response to Floods:

On 04 December 1999, the Prime Minister issued Official Telegram No. 1276/CP and sent it to the Provincial People's Committees in provinces from Thua Thien -Hue to Khanh Hoa Provinces and other relevant agencies, requesting them to monitor the relief missions to minimise people and property losses.

In the morning of 5 December 1999, the Prime Minister paid a visit to the Office of the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) to direct activities in response to disaster situations and mitigation. At the Office, the Prime Minister was informed of the by the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Mr. Le Huy Ngo. Afterwards, the Prime Minister gave instructions to mitigate the flood damages. After the Prime Minister left the Office, the Deputy Prime Minister came and directed activities in response to flood situations.

The Provincial People's Committee of Binh Thuan, as requested by the Official Telegraph No. 56 CD/PCLB, sent 14 tones of instant noodles and this volume of noodles was transported to Quang Ngai Province by railways. This volume of noodles arrived Quang Ngai Province in the early morning of 6 December 1999. (Duc Pho District: 9 tones and Mo Duc district: 5 tones).

The Southern Foods Corporation delivered promptly 100 tones of instant noodles in the night of 5 December 1999 at the Song Than Station. This volume of noodles was transported immediately to Duc Pho Station (Quang Ngai Province) at 4 p.m., 6 December 1999 as requested by the Official Telegraph No. 57 CD/PCLB.

In Da Nang City, 100 tones of instant noodles were mobilised. 40 tones of this volume were distributed to Quang Ngai Province and 60 tones were distributed to Quang Nam Province as requested by the Official Telegraph No. 58 CD/PCLB.
The Ministry of Industry directed all the corporations under its administration to destock the raincoats to help the people in flooded areas (Quang Ngai and Quang Nam Provinces received 100,000 raincoats).

In the evening of 5 December 1999, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Nguyen Cong Tan, participated in a meeting held by CCFSC, MARD, General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology and the Ministry of Transportation and Communication. After the report of the General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology on flood situation and weather forecasts, the Deputy Prime Minister signed the Official Telegraph No. 1277/CP and this telegraph was sent to CCFSC, Ministries, all levels and Provinces form Thua Thien - Hue to Khanh Hoa. The Ministries and all levels were assigned to implement the measures in response to heavy flood situation that may occur. Particularly, forces and equipment must be well prepared to rescue people and protect reservoirs.

In the afternoon of 4 December 1999, Mr. Le Huy Ngo, Minister of MARD and Director of the CCFSC came to Quang Nam Province and discussed the measures in response to flood with the Provincial People's Committee. The Minister also visited Phu Ninh Dam. At 13:00 of 5 December 1999, the Minister left Quang Nam Province for Quang Ngai Province and visited heavily flooded areas. During 5 December 1999, the Minister reported to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister regularly on floods situation and solutions.

General Nguyen Huy Hieu, Deputy Minister of Defence and Vice-director of CCFSC came to Quang Ngai Province to give direct instructions to relief activities. The Ministry of Defence also sent three helicopters to Quang Ngai and these helicopters have transported five commodity packages including lifeboats and urgent relief goods.
The Ministry of Defence transported by air 1,850 lifeboats to Da Nang City from Hanoi. These lifeboats then were transported to Quang Ngai Province by helicopters.

The Ministry of Police issued the Official Telegraph No. 752/HT and sent it to the Provincial Police Services from Thua Thien - Hue to Khanh Hoa, requesting those Provincial Police Services to corporate with all other agencies in rescuing people and properties, maintaining the security, and safety of transportation in flooded areas.

The Provincial People's Committee of Quang Nam mobilised 1,200 soldiers from Division No. 315 and Brigade No. 270 of Military Zone No. 5 and other relief equipment and sent these forces to protect Phu Ninh Reservoir in the night of 3 December.

The leaders of all agencies, after receiving the requests of CCFSC, came and directed relief-goods-receiving-and-distributing activities in the fields.

IV. Urgent activities needed to be done at present:

Mobilise local forces for rescuing people in heavily flooded areas. Minimise the number of people lost their lives. Prevent famine from occurring. Prepare everything to mitigate the flood consequences. Stabilise the life and production of flood period in flooded areas.

Monitor the implementation of measures for securing reservoirs in preparation for bad and complicated weather.
Rehabilitate destroyed transport lines to facilitate relief mission and stabilisation of people's lives and production.
Monitor the activities for maintaining social order and security in inundated areas.

Distribution:
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Cong Tan
The Central Office of the Party
The National Assembly Office
The President Office
The Government Office
Relevant Ministries and Sectors
Viet Nam News Agency, Viet Nam Television, the Voice of Viet Nam
Nhan Dan Newspaper
Records Director of the Standing Office of the CCFSC

Nguyen Ty Nien