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5/18/2007

Rainy season begins with more heavy downpours on wide scale

Vietnam
Photo: Staff members of the Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control in the northern province of Son La’s Quynh Nhai District practise on the Da River to enhance their capacity to cope with disaster in preparation for the coming flood season. — VNA/VNS Photo Dieu Chinh Toi
May 17, 2007
The beginning of the rainy season brought prolonged heavy downpours to the southern provinces and the Central Highlands last week. The rainy season this year differed to that of past years. The past years saw small, sporadic showers on a small scale during the beginning of the season. This year, the rainy season started earlier with prolonged heavy rains across large areas from the south-east, the south-west and the Mekong River Delta provinces to the Central Highlands. Rainfall in Dong Nai, HCM City and Long An last weekend measured between 100-130mm, higher than the average level during the same period in previous years. The early high rainfall was attributed to a tropical low pressure system coupled with a cold atmosphere wave moving south from the northern provinces. Prolonged torrential rains during the past few days have submerged several roads in the city centre. Many sections of Dinh Tien Hoang and Nguyen Huu Canh roads wee under 20-30cm of water, blocking traffic for several hours. In the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong heavy downpours have caused small floods that disrupted traffic for several hours on National Highway 27. Many sections of this highway were under 50cm of water. In Phan Rang - Thap Cham Town, in the south central province of Binh Thuan, rainfall measured 120mm, the HIGHEST LEVEL IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. In the Central province of Quang Tri, torrential rains have hit districts of Hai Lang, Gio Linh and Cam Lo, destroying several thousands of hectares of rice. Initial losses are estimated at VND10bil (US$625,000). In the Mekong River delta, prolonged heavy downpours during the last four days have led to a sudden change in the water environment, resulting in a loss of half of the area's tra catfish stocks. About 30 hectares of fish ponds in Binh Minh District, Vinh Long Province have been infected by a disease that flourishes during heavy rainfall, forcing tra catfish farmers to stop breeding new fish stock until the prolonged rains stop. The rainy season this year is expected to last until the end of November with high rainfall in June, September and October.
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