Vietnam Podul Floods Update

The situation in Vietnam has worsened considerably since the current spate of floods first struck on 15 November, although Vietnam’s National Floods and Storms Control Agency today announced that the flood waters in some areas are now receding.

Sadly the death toll has now risen from the 18 reported on Saturday 16 November. The current situation in Vietnam is:

  • 41 dead
  • 80,000 displaced
  • 400,000 houses affected
  • 74 injured
  • 4,300 hectares of rice paddies and other crops damaged

The worst hit areas are Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen. The situation in Binh Dinh was made worse by the fact that dam flood gates were opened to release excess water, flooding nearby homes and farmland.

Vietnam has suffered from seemingly endless floods since the beginning of this year’s monsoon. More recently, Mekong river high tides have resulted in flooding in many areas of Ho Chi Minh city. Then Vietnam became Typhoon Haiyan’s second victim after it had left a trail of destruction across much of the Philippines.

Typhoon Podul followed quickly on the tail of Haiyan, but forecasters felt the storm wasn’t any near as severe of its predecessor, and the trajectory of the storm meant it posed little threat to Vietnam.

However, in the wake of Podul came a massive tropical depression which resulted in huge amounts of rainfall, in particular in Vietnam’s central region, in the highlands and on the eastern coastline. As much as 700mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 14 and 15 November in Quang Ngai province. Other areas, particularly the central provinces, saw between 300mm and 600 mm. So much rainfall on an already soaked and battered landscape would inevitably cause further mayhem and destruction.