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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    24  September 2011

Mekong Delta floods

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The floodwaters in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's upstream provinces have risen to the highest levels since 2003 and will continue to rise rapidly by the end of this month, according to the Southern Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The Tien and Hau rivers, the two main tributaries of the Mekong, have been rising fast in recent days because of high tides and floods in the upper Mekong, the centre said.

In An Giang Province, the Tien rose to 4.28 metres, 0.22 meter below the third warning level, at the Tan Chau Station on Thursday.

The Hau was flowing at 3.62 metres, 0.1 metre above the second warning level, at Chau Doc Station.

Nguyen Minh Giam, deputy director of the Southern Region for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said water levels had risen to the highest levels since 2003.

The delta would see massive flooding by the end of this month or early next month due to the high tides and floods in the upper Mekong, he warned.

It would become worse if there were also rains at that time, he said. Floods are threatening weak dykes and thousands of hectares of autumn-winter rice crop in the upper-stream provinces, especially An Giang and Dong Thap.

To protect crops and people from floods, provinces are strengthening weak dykes and sluice gates and moving flood-affected households to safety.

Nguyen Hung Trang, deputy chairman of the Hong Ngu town People's Committee in Dong Thap, said more than 2,000ha of rice were threatened by floods since many dykes had been breached or leaked and the water had nearly reached the top of the dykes.

Some 200 ha in Tan Hoi Commune could be inundated because of eroded dykes, he said. In Dong Thap, more than 14,000 hectares of rice in Hong Ngu, Tan Hong, Cao Lanh, Thanh Binh, Tam Nong, and Lap Vo districts are under threat.

Several key rural roads in upper-stream districts in Dong Thap have been inundated, blocking traffic.

In Tan Hong District, rural roads which also serve as dykes for paddies, are eroded and face collapse.



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