The Hanoi Water Drainage Company has prepared a flood scenario in preparation for potential flooding in inner capital city during the upcoming rainy season.

The scenario was conduced after the National Centre for Hydro Meteorological Forecasting predicted that this year's rainy season would come earlier and last longer than in previous years. Heavy downpours began this month and are expected to go on until July.

Director of the company Nguyen Le said the scenario was divided into three likely possibilities according to progressively higher water levels.

Specifically, with less than 50mm of rainfall, Hanoi would experience little flooding but stagnant water would likely cover low-lying areas. In this case, rescue forces would be on duty to dredge ditches and facilitate water drainage.

With rainfall of between 50 and 100mm, flooding would likely be reported in several key areas. The Yen So Pumping Station, together with Thanh Liet Dam and other stations in Kim Lien Tunnel and Chui Bridge, would operate at full capacity to pump excessive water into Hong River. Mobile pumping forces would be ordered to take duty positions on Thuy Khue, Ngo Quyen and Ton Dan streets.

If rainfall were to exceed 100mm, as many as 23 flooded areas would likely be reported. All available task forces would be mobilised to facilitate city drainage and dams would be opened if necessary.

Deputy director of the municipal Department of Construction Le Van Duc said the city could handle quick drainage if rainfall measured 310mm or less over a two day period.

Municipal People's Committee chairman Nguyen The Thao has recently noted that drainage units must conduct regular checks and improve drains in an effort to curb flooding.

Duty units would be required to work with traffic police and inspectors to assure traffic safety. Relevant ministries and sectors were asked to mobilise capital to construct nine drainage systems worth 117 billion VND (5.6 million USD) this year.

Currently, a 350 million USD Drainage Project for Environmental Improvement is being carried out in the city. Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2005 which brought the city's drainage capacity to a maximum of 172mm per two days. The second phase, which kicked off last November, will increase drainage capacity to 310mm over two days.

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year./.