Flooding limits travel in Hoi An ancient city hinh anh 1Flood rises up in the Hoai River in Hoi An city. (Photo: VNA)
Quang Nam (VNA) - Water in the Hoai River rose up to flood two streets – Bach Dang and Nguyen Thai Hoc – in the ancient city of Hoi An and villages on the Hoai River banks on December 15.

Water 1.5m-2m deep also stopped traffic, stranding thousands of residents and tourists traveling on the other side of the Hoai River bank. Most tourists and local residents had to use boats to travel from the flood-affected villages and hotels to Hoi An’s market.

Restaurants and houses on the pedestrian Nguyen Phuc Chu Street, night market, Sculpture Park, An Hoi Bridge, Bach Dang and Nguyen Thai Hoc streets were submerged in water.

A return boat trip cost 200,000 VND (8.8 USD) was the only way for residents to cross the Hoai River.

“Water rose up very fast from midnight. The An Hoi Bridge is under water and can only be recognised by its handrail,” said Tran Van Sung, 73.

“I closed my restaurant on Bach Dang Street on the Hoai River and moved all the furniture upstairs as water came in and rose up to cover half the door,” Sung said but conceded that the flooding this time has yet to reach its record roof-top levels.

He lamented the cost of having to clean and redecorate the restaurant after floods, as well as painting doors and windows.

But not everyone is despondent over the recurring flooding.

Nguyen Thu Hoai, a resident of Triem Tay Village, said she earns a lot of money from rowing boats for tourists and local residents from the ancient town along flooded streets and markets.

“I can earn 200,000 VND for each boat trip. Many residents in flooded areas on the Hoai River bank ring me to carry them to the market for food. It’s not my main job, but it’s helpful for everybody during flood days,” Hoai said.

The city’s traffic police has warned all residents and tourists to wear life jackets for safety and only travel by boat when it’s very necessary.

A deputy chairman of the city’s People’s Committee said floods created difficulties for residents on the other side of the Hoai River (opposite Hoi An city). But had not affected tourism services in the city’s old quarter.

Usuda Reiko, a Japanese resident of Hoi An, said water had submerged the river road in Cam Nam ward from December 15’s night.

“I cannot go out today. I just sit on the second floor. I closed my café, and I still have sufficient supplies for me and my staff for several days. For me it is the worst flood. In the 2009 one I wasn’t living on the river side,” Reiko said, adding that flood already occurred twice this year.

The An Hoi Bridge, spanning the Hoai River in Hoi An, is only recognized by its handrail.

According to the latest report from the Centre of Flood and Storm Prevention in the Central and Central Highlands regions, rising rivers from Thua Thien-Hue to Quang Ngai reached its peak on December 14’s night and has been receding since.

The centre warned, however, that the Quang Tri, Binh Dinh and lower Thu Bon River in Quang Nam province will rise within 12 hours.

Flooding also was recorded in 27 districts in Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces, and serious flooding is expected from Quang Nam to Phu Yen within several days.

Three people were killed in Thua Thien-Hue and six injured in Phu Yen province between December 11 and 15.

Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces suffered a total loss of 83.8 billion VND (3.7 million USD) in flood damage.-VNA