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[Photos] Violent Storm Uproots Trees, Floods Streets, Destroys Vehicles In HCMC

Last Friday afternoon, a heavy downpour uprooted trees, flooded streets and destroyed hundreds of vehicles across the city, reports Thanh Nien.

Floodwaters, up to 1 meter high inundated Phan Anh, To Hieu and Nguyen Van Tien in Tan Phu District, Huong Lo 2, Hoa Binh, Binh Long, Thoai Ngoc Hau and Le Van Quoi in District Binh Tan, An Duong Vuong and Tan Hoa Dong Streets in District 6.

The flooding forced residents to stack sandbags at the entrances of their homes and caused many cars and motorbikes to break down.

Wit the heavy rains came strong winds which knocked down trees, one of which collapsed into the parking lot of District 10's Hoa Binh Theatre in District 10, damaging around 100 motorbikes.

According to the HCM City Flood Control Center, flooding in HCMC has been getting worse in recent years since many of the city's sewers are blocked with mud and sand from construction projects

The city’s main flood-prevention plan was devised in 2001 and “based on the assumption that the tidal peak would be 1.32m and rain with a 100mm rainfall would occur only once in five years. Now, tides can peak at 1.7m and rain with an over-100mm rainfall comes down twice a year,” Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, vice director of the Steering Center for the Urban Flood Control Program told Tuoi Tre.

However, in the end, the issue seems to come down to funding:

“Calculations indicate that Ho Chi Minh City needs VND59 trillion (US$2.84 billion) for flood prevention projects in 2011-15 but only VND500 billion ($24 million) is released a year during the period.”

This is not to mention the fact that HCMC is one of the cities most threatened by climate change and is literally sinking due to over exploitation of groundwater.

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