HCM City sees big decrease in street flooding

The anti-flooding works carried out in Ho Chi Minh City since 2008 have helped reduce the number of streets that are flooded during moderate to heavy rainfall, according to the city Department of Construction.
HCM City sees big decrease in street flooding ảnh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The anti-flooding works carried out in Ho Chi Minh City since 2008 have helped reduce the number of streets that are flooded during moderate to heavy rainfall, according to the city Department of Construction.

The city had three heavy spells of rain since this year with rainfall of 70.6-112.3mm within two hours.

It caused flooding of 0.1-0.3 metres along Nguyen Huu Canh, Dien Bien Phu and Ung Van Khiem streets in Binh Thanh district, Quoc Huong and Nguyen Van Huong in District 2, Phan Huy Ich, Pham Van Chieu and Le Duc Tho in Go Vap district, Pham Van Dong, To Ngoc Van and Kha Van Can in Thu Duc district, Nguyen Van Qua and Le Van Luong in District 12, and Ho Hoc Lam in Binh Tan district.

But they drained within 10-15 minutes after the rains stopped, Vu Van Diep, director of the HCM City Infrastructure Management Centre, was quoted as saying by Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.

In 2008 the city had 125 flooded streets, and it took much longer for the water to drain.

According to Le Hoa Binh, the department’s director, streets such as Ba Thang Hai, Le Hong Phong and Tran Khanh Du streets, the Cay Go Roundabout, the Cho Lon Bus Station, highways 43 and 1, Hai Ba Trung, Tran Nhat Duat, Tran Quang Khai, and areas in wards 17, 21, and 25 in Binh Thanh district used to be heavily flooded in the past, but are not flooded any more despite heavy rainfall and high tides.

The city targets completely mitigating by this year flooding in the centre and five peripheral areas spread over 550 square kilometres and with nearly 6.5 million residents.

The water environment has been improved and storage space has been increased, and the urban landscape has been upgraded to improve the life of people and protect the environment.

Now 25 out of the 36 worst flooded streets are no longer flooded, accounting for 70 percent of the target in the 2016-2020 programme.

The city connected another 1,164 more alleys to the drainage system, and so most of them are no longer flooded.

Luong Dinh Cua, Nguyen Van Huong, Xa Lo Hanoi, Huynh Tan Phat, Le Van Luong, Tran Xuan Soan, highways 10 and 50, and street No. 26, usually flooded by tides, are expected to be no longer flooded from this year’s end.

Nguyen Huu Canh street, which was heavily flooded recently, is being upgraded to prevent flooding, and has been installed with pumps. The upgrade is expected to be completed in April 2021, ending the flooding.

The city still faces challenges to its flood-prevention efforts, such as the rapid urbanisation, continuing subsidence and, especially, climate change, according to Binh.

The Department of Construction plans to carry out more works to avoid flooding in the city.

The centre has assigned its staff to pick garbage from the drainage system and operate pumps. They are stationed in areas where flooding is likely to occur to clear it in time.

Earlier, HCM City authorities have asked agencies to roll out policies to attract private investment for flood-prevention projects.

Speaking at a recent meeting, Vo Van Hoan, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, asked the Construction Department and Planning and Investment Department to develop policies to solicit funds, especially for projects under public-private partnerships.

Regular inspections will be carried out to resolve problems arising during construction, and meetings will be organised every six months with a review at the end of the year.

The Department of Science and Technology has been instructed to apply modern technologies to drainage systems, wastewater treatment, reservoirs, embankments, and underground water tanks.

City authorities will also crack down on illegal encroachments on rivers, canals, and drainage systems.

Flooding risks in HCM City may grow 10 times more intense by 2050 given the current prevalence of poorly regulated construction projects and economic activities, according to a new study by the international consulting firm McKinsey.

According to the findings, the city may lose billions of US dollars to sea-level rise and a majority of its area may become vulnerable to extreme weather events without serious adaptation and systemic reform of urban planning.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, a survey of 339 locations in the Mekong Delta and HCM City last year found that 306 have sunk by 0.1 to 81.4 centimetres over the last decade, including 19 locations in the city./.

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