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Flooding in central Vietnam may break 1999 record

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HCMC – As of this afternoon, October 12, floodwater levels in Quang Tri Province’s Thach Han River could surge to 7.4 meters, 0.11 meter higher than the record level in the 1999 historical flooding, and the central province may face massive flooding, said a weather expert.

Hoang Phuc Lam, deputy director of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, told a recent meeting that the two central provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue saw heavy downpours early this morning, with rainfall measuring 200 millimeters lasting for some six hours.

The current flooding in Quang Tri remains dangerous. By 7 a.m. today, the floodwater level in the Thach Han River was 5.19 meters. Due to such heavy rain, the floodwater level in the river is likely to surpass the 1999 figure to reach 7.4 meters, he forecast.

Lam added that floodwater levels in the Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri rivers may remain high as heavy rains in the region will last until October 13. Apart from the Thach Han River, water levels in the Kien Giang River could also rise, while that of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Kon Tum will ebb.

According to a report of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, torrential rains and flooding had left 18 dead and 14 others missing as of this morning.

Besides this, more than 109,000 houses were left inundated. Of the 17 ships with 106 people on board that were affected due to bad weather, 11 ships sunk, six ships encountered incidents, 99 people were rescued, three were killed and four went missing. Local competent forces are on the lookout for the missing persons.

By the end of Sunday, there were 176 communes/wards, equivalent to nearly 94,300 households, suffering from heavy flooding.

Tran Quang Hoai, deputy head of the steering committee, said that the central part of the country has been severely damaged by heavy rains and flooding and has not completely coped with the aftermath, but the region is forecast to brace itself for two upcoming storms, the seventh and the eighth to hit Vietnam this year.

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