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Stormageddon Brings Saigon to Its Knees

This week is off to a rough start for Saigoneers after yesterday’s torrential downpour brought unprecedented flooding to the southern hub.

After a period of increasingly dark skies, the rains began around 5pm, coming down in sheets all over town. According to Tuoi Tre, Saigon experienced major flooding in 30 different areas around the city, including the inside of Bitexco Financial Tower.

Video via Facebook user Huynh Ngoc Loi.

In flood-prone areas such as Binh Thanh District’s Nguyen Huu Canh Street, where flood waters reached up to 50 centimeters, local police went so far as to post deep-water warnings. Shops and houses, too, were affected, as the storm sent rain into the basement and ground floors of buildings throughout the city. Along Phu Nhuan District’s Phan Xich Long Street, firefighters assisted local residents by pumping water out of their houses and back into the street.

Photo via Zing.

And the streets were certainly a treacherous place to be last night, as flash flooding turned roads into rivers across the city. Downtown, Ben Thanh Market and nearby streets such as Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham and Ham Nghi were under water, while the Thu Thiem Tunnel also experienced heavy flooding.

Photo via Zing.

Elsewhere in the city, District 2’s Thao Dien saw heavy rainfall, as did Districts 3, 5 and 7. On Thu Duc District’s Vo Van Ngan Street, the flooding was so forceful that drivers struggled to stay upright as the rushing waters began carrying away motorbikes, reports Tuoi Tre. Beyond the city limits, Highway 51, which links Bien Hoa and Vung Tau, sat beneath nearly a meter of water while surrounding areas such as Binh Duong, Bien Hoa and Ben Tre were in the same boat.

Video via Facebook user Doan Pham.

According to Thanh Nien, Tan Son Nhat International Airport was also affected by the powerful storm, which forced the southern airport to divert 12 flights to neighboring facilities.

Naturally, Facebook users responded to the crisis with a plethora of photos and videos documenting the night’s chaos, from motorists pushing their vehicles along waterlogged streets to local residents bailing out flooded houses to nurses catching water eels in the hospital.

Photo via Zing.

According to Deputy Director Nguyen Minh Giam of the Southern Vietnam Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, yesterday evening’s historic storm is not entirely surprising, as rainy season in the southern region will last until early November this year, reports Zing. With rainy season not yet over and Asian typhoons getting steadily stronger, it’s possible Saigon will have more than one stormaggedon to look forward to in future.

Photo via Zing.

[Top photo via Facebook user Ngo Nhat Hoang]

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