Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant on the Da River in northern province of Hoa Binh is discharging water from its reservoir (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has ordered relevant agencies to conscientiously maintain the dyke system and supervise flood developments in the Hong (Red) River basin multi-reservoir operation.

The direction was made at a meeting held by the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Control on July 21.

Dung asked authorised agencies to consider opening the second floodgate in Son La Reservoir in the coming days if the situation calls for.

The first floodgate was opened on July 19 morning to reduce the reservoir’s water level, which had reached 201.9 metres following heavy rain across the northern region. After discharging water, the water level remained high, about 201.07 metres by 8am on July 21.

Dung also tasked the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting to issue more frequent forecasts of rains and flows affecting the reservoirs before 5-10 days so that competent agencies could have enough time to smoothly operate the basin’s reservoirs.

The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development was told to take responsibility for guaranteeing safety for the dyke system and agricultural production activities downstream of the reservoirs, he said.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the country’s largest power company the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) were told to speed up their progress of setting up online meetings with the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Control. It aims to help the committee issue prompt directions, he added.

Dung also required the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Security to install signs that instruct waterway vehicles to safety downstream.

Also at the meeting, Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development and head of the steering committee Nguyen Xuan Cuong decided to open the third floodgate of Hoa Binh Reservoir at 6am today (July 22).

Previously, due to prolonged torrential rains, the water level of the reservoir quickly rose. The first floodgate was opened when the water level reached 106.19 metres on July 18. Then, the second floodgate also opened on July 19 morning, and eight turbines were run at full capacity to discharge water out of the reservoir.

However, the water level of the reservoir stayed at 106.32 metres at 8am on July 21, even higher than the water level when the first floodgate was opened. Therefore, Cuong decided to unlock the third floodgate.

Permanent steering committee member Tran Quang Hoai said that discharging water out of the two reservoirs did not affect the dyke system in 13 localities in the Hong (Red) River system.

Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the National Central for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, said that there was no additional forecast of torrential rain in the northern region so far. A low-pressure system formed in the northeast of the East Sea yesterday has yet to show any impact on Vietnam.-VNA