Mau Than street in Can Tho city’s Ninh Kieu district is flooded during high tides (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Local authorities in the Mekong Delta are taking measures to mitigate the impact of flooding caused by high tides during the annual flood season in the delta.

The delta’s provinces and Can Tho City have been severely affected by high tides over the past few days.

In Can Tho City, the municipal People’s Committee on Thursday held a meeting with the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development about measures to deal with flooding and high tides.

Nguyen Tan Nhon, deputy director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said high tides combined with heavy rains and floodwaters from the Mekong River had eroded many embankments in outlying areas and submerged streets in inner areas up to 50cm deep in water.

To deal with the flooding, the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has set up search and rescue teams to prevent and control natural disasters. The teams are equipped with boats and other equipment for their tasks.

Truong Quang Hoai Nam, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and its Sub-department of Irrigation should strictly monitor hydrology forecasting information and pumping stations to withdraw floodwaters in farming areas, strengthen weak embankments, and prepare agricultural machines to harvest autumn-winter rice.

Local authorities should carry out comprehensive measures to prevent drowning by setting up safe sites for children in flooded areas and taking students to school to ensure their safety, he said.

Floods have caused damage to 113 metres of embankments in Can Tho this year, affecting 37ha of rice fields and 91ha of vegetables and cash crops, reducing yields, according to the city’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue.

High tides have also caused 8.5 tonnes of fish and other aquatic species in ponds to escape into rivers and canals.

In Bac Lieu province, high tides have inundated many areas, including more than 10km of National Highway No. 1 in Gia Rai Town and Hoa Binh district since October 6.

Pham Van Toi, deputy head of the Giá Rai Town Economic Division, said the highway had been submerged deeply two times a day when the tides were high, blocking traffic.

High tides have also entered freshwater areas, threatening rice fields and other vegetable planting areas, he said.

The Bac Lieu provincial People’s Committee has instructed local people to upgrade their homes’ foundations, and strengthen weak embankments.

In Tien Giang province, high tides have flooded many areas in Cai Be district and My Tho city, leaving many fruit orchards submerged.

Tran Thanh Nhan of Cai Be district’s Hoa Khanh commune said his family had used soil to build embankments around his fruit orchard over the past few days.

“If an embankment is broken, I can’t do anything because the water level outside the embankment is about one metre higher than inside it,” he said.

The high tides have been the highest seen over the past 10 years, according to local farmers in Hoa Khanh.

The flooding level of the Mekong River in the delta is declining and will increase again on October 18 when high tides are forecast, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting. – VNS/VNA