After Tropical Cyclone Haiyan had struck Vietnam, Tropical Storm Podul was supposed to be an easier ride. But the tropical depression left in the storm’s wake has dumped huge amounts of rainfall on Vietnam’s central provinces, leaving several people dead and thousands homeless.
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.
Earlier today, official reports from Vietnam’s state media claim that at least 5 people have been killed, and that 64,500 people had to be evacuated from their homes in Quang Ngai province, and a further 4,000 in Quang Nam province.
More recent media reports say that as of today, Saturday 16 November 2013, as many as 18 people have now been killed in the floods, with a further 7 people missing.
Seven people have now been reported as killed in the floods in Quang Ngai Province. Six deaths have been reported in Binh Dinh Province. Among the victims elsewhere are 2 women teachers who were drowned after being swept away by flood water in Khang District of Gia Lai province. A woman was killed in Dak Nen District, Kon Tum Province, after she was swept away in raging flood waters.
The torrential rainfall over the last 24 hours has brought rivers to dangerous levels. The Ba River in Gia Lai province, for example, was standing at 41cm higher than previous record high in 1981. In fact local authorities claim that the river level is 2.39 meters higher than alarm level 3.
Heavy rainfall and overflowing rivers have flooded towns and villages. Quy Nhon City in Binh Dinh Province is reportedly seeing as much as 30cm of flood water in the street. Landslides always become a major concern after heavy rainfall, especially in Vietnam’s Central Highland region. Many roads, including Highway 19, have been blocked or damaged, leaving some of the villages cut off from the outside world.