The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has directed concerned municipal departments to survey the city's drainage network and come up with solutions to deal with record high tidal rises expected this November.

The National Centre for Hydro Meteorological Forecasting has cautioned that HCM City will be severely affected by climate change, projecting a record high tidal rise of 1.62m in November, the highest in the last 50 years.

The departments should submit their proposed solutions to the committee in October, said Nguyen Huu Tin, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee.

He noted that despite recent infrastructure upgrades, the city has only been able to prevent floods in the central sewer, one among its six main drainage networks.

Urgent action was required because the frequent flooding of streets during heavy rains was not only affecting traffic flow, but the daily lives and health of citizens, he said.

With climate change impacts and overloading of the drainage network identified as main reasons for the flooding, concerned departments should conduct fresh evaluations to determine the sewer system's carrying capacity, garbage disposal issues and man-made structures that may obstruct water drainage, he said.

The city's drainage system was originally designed to deal with a maximum rise in tides of 1.32m, but climate change impacts have pushed this up to 1.58m during heavy downpours.

As of now, the city has 3,200km of sewers that are old and have low carrying capacity. It is estimated that an additional 2,500km of sewers will be needed for effective flood prevention.

Overpopulation is another issue. Originally designed for a city of 2.5 million, the drainage system now has to deal with a population of 10 million.-VNA