HCM City to implement measures to control worsening flooding crisis hinh anh 1Flood in Au Co street, Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - Authorities in HCM City have outlined stronger flood-prevention measures as heavy rains and high tides continue to cause severe flooding.

In District 6, Binh Thanh, Binh Tan and Hoc Mon districts, for example, many streets are seriously flooded after heavy rains, despite the city's efforts in recent years to deal with the problem.

Speaking on the Listen and Discuss talk show on HCM City Television last week, Doan Thanh Xuan, who lives in Hoc Mon's Trung Chanh commune, said flooding still occurred in the rainy season, especially on Song Hanh, Nguyen Anh Thu and To Ky streets.

"When there are heavy rains, the streets are flooded 40-50 cm deep in water and the floods last for three to four hours, causing water to flow into houses," he said.

Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, Deputy Director of the Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme, said the centre had also built many sluice gates to control high tides in order to prevent flooding of inner districts and some outlying districts.

However, rubbish that flows into the valves of the sluice gates sometimes gets stuck, and the valve cannot close, thus allowing water from high tides to flow inland and cause flooding.

In the 1998-2006 period, the city also used more than 12,600ha of farmland, lakes and canals for construction sites, reducing the amount of land that functions as draining areas for rain and water from high tides, according to the city's Department of Transport's Water Drainage and Supply Division.

The city had only implemented 40 percent of the city's drainage zoning plan, he said.

Tran Trong Tuan, Director of the city's Department of Transport, said of the city's 5,000km of rivers and canals, only 1,077 km had been used to drain water, and the rest had been used for irrigation and transport.

"Illegal encroachment on rivers and canals has contributed to the city's flooding as it has narrowed the flow of water," he said.

The city has more than 20,000 houses built on or along canals. Many households along canals throw rubbish into canals, blocking water flow and causing pollution.

Nguyen Minh Giam, Deputy Director of the Southern Centre for Hydro -Meteorology Forecast, said climate change was also a cause of flooding.

A heavy rain on September 15 overloaded the drainage system, causing severe flooding.

Dung, Deputy Director of the Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme, said the city would build 200 km of sluice gates within the next five years to solve flooding.

During this period, the city will also build nine large sluice gates on the Saigon River in Binh Thanh, 4, 1, 7, Binh Chanh and Nha Be districts to control high tides.

Rivers and canals will be dredged and water reservoirs built to reduce flooding, according to the city's Department of Transport.

As of May, 68 sites in the city had been affected by floods.-VNA