Vietnam – High Tides and Rising Rivers Flood Cần Thơ

High tides and rising river levels left wide areas of the city of Cần Thơ in southern Vietnam under water from around 01 October, 2019, with homes and roads flooded and thousands of the city’s residents affected.

According to Copernicus Emergency Management Service (Copernicus EMS), part of the European Union’s Earth Observation programme, 650 hectares within the city were flooded and close to 30,000 people affected.

Flooded areas (light blue)  of Can Tho, Vietnam as of 02 October 2019. Image: Copernicus EMS

Cần Thơ, a city of around 1.5 million inhabitants, is located in the Mekong Delta, on the south bank of the Hau River, a distributary of the Mekong River.

Local media reported that as of 01 October, the water level of the Hau River reached 2.25 metres, the highest level in 30 years.

Copernicus EMS said, “The reason for flooding is the coincidence of high water levels in the Mekong River with very high lunar tides in the South China Sea. In the flat Mekong Delta the ocean tides influence the height of the river for more than 200km upstream. Can Tho is 80km from the river mouth and strongly affected by tides.”

Tropical Cyclone Podul and Tropical Depression Kajiki brought heavy rain from early September 2019, causing floods and landslides in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. The Mekong River quickly rose to danger levels in areas of Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.