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[Photos] Saigon Swims in Citywide 'Pool' After Weekend Downpours

If’s officially time for the rainy season in Vietnam or, as we say in Saigon, flooding season.

It’s hard to imagine that just two weeks ago we were still bemoaning the searing heat of summer. As the old saying goes: “Be careful what you wish for,” as last weekend was the wettest this year yet, when it rained cats and dogs for three consecutive days.

The downpours on Saturday and Sunday hit Saigoneers the hardest, as numerous thoroughfares became severely waterlogged after hours of rain, but we’re sure that no one was surprised. Flooding occurred on many major streets, including Nguyen Xi and Ung Van Khiem in Binh Thanh District; Phan Huy Ich and Cay Tram in Go Vap District; Huynh Tan Phat in District 7; and Ho Hoc Lam in Binh Tan District, according to Tuoi Tre.

In low-lying areas such as Phan Huy Ich Street, the water level even reached motorbike seats, paralyzing commuters on bikes, foot and in cars.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Drainage Company (UDC), the bout of rain on May 19 starting from 6:15pm was the heaviest so far this year, with the city’s western side bearing the brunt of the deluge. The water level was highest at the Phu Lam Weather Station, where it hit 102 millimeters.

While scores of Saigon dwellers were inconvenienced by the floods, after years of such incidents occurring without any viable solution proposed, most of us have come to accept the city’s constantly submerged streets every time it rains. Recently, it was announced that a prominent anti-flooding plan has been halted.

The project spans several districts in southern Saigon, comprising six large floodgates – each 40-160 meters wide – several pump stations and a dike along a 7.8-kilometer stretch of the Saigon River. In November last year, municipal authorities also kick-started a similar project, albeit on a smaller scale, that seeks to alleviate flooding around Nguyen Huu Canh Street in Binh Thanh District. However, there’s still no news on its progress as we’ve officially entered the rainy season.

In the meantime, have a look at the soggy situation in Saigon over the weekend through these snapshots, courtesy of photographers at Zing and Tuoi Tre:

Photos by Huu Khoa via Tuoi Tre.

Photos by Le Tan and Tung Tin via Zing.

[Top photo via Tuoi Tre]


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