Flood in the Central

The tall and thin man, eyes deepened after sleepless nights, pointed to the wall. I watched: the wet stain served as evidence for nearly a meter of water level. I rushed out the door. The water was flooded to the chest, but I had to go knocking on the door of every house around because everyone was fast asleep, ”Thao said of the morning of December 9.

That night, the whole little neighbor was in chaos. The sound of rain raining down on the roof overwhelmed the sound of people calling each other to run flood in the middle of the night. A woman carrying a television and refrigerator. Seven of the elderly and children in Mr. Thao's family had to move to the cramped loft. The sick baby cry every now and again. Adults do not dare to sleep.

Rainfall of Da Nang in 19h on December 8 to 19h on December 9 this year set a new record. Six hundred and thirty millimeters, it broke the old record on November 3, 1999. Da Nang people for the first time (since the well-off) faced the sight of a series of expensive cars submerged in the water, and the owner had to flee for people. Neighboring provinces also saw many towering water levels. Nine people died and went missing. After the panic, life turned upside down.

I asked Thao about the historic flood in 1999. He told the figures clearly: that year, he had raised the floor by an additional 30cm above the masterpiece. The power outlet is also installed 1.2m from the ground so that "if it is flooded, there will be no electric shock".

After the tragic shock of 1999, an entire community changed their approach to the floods. That year, a Da Nang man, Mr. Huynh Van Thang at that time was the head of the irrigation bureau, came up with the idea of ​​"flood warning". The pillar is too high for the head to be erected in many places. People who listen to flood reports can compare and find ways to cope instead of the fact that the numbers are hard to imagine. Many nearby localities later learned to follow.

But in 2018, after a "record" and after a panic, asking people what they have to do, there is no answer. After the record rain of 2018, despite the dangers seen, did not see the discussion or ideas like Mr. Thang in the past. And the reason is probably not because 3 days later the Vietnamese team will kick the first leg on Malaysia soil. The reason, is now ... too difficult to give a solution.

Talking about raising the floor like in the past, Thao shook his head. "Kiet is just over two meters wide. A house is built close to the edge of the house. If you lift the floor, you cannot drive a motorbike into the house." There are thousands of alleys in Danang. A few dozen meters of land were also cut into houses, sold and bought.

But heavy rains not only caused damage to tens of thousands of people, but also revealed an inadequacy of urban planning: the unconnected drainage system between the new urban areas and the old urban areas reduced the likelihood. Drainage; reservoir to gradually fill up the plot for sale of the ground; VND 85 billion is spent on dredging the sewer every year, but 300 tons of internal solid waste has spilled into the sea through the outlet ...

My legs after two days of recording the scene, were rash. When the rain is flooded, domestic waste flows up from the sewer. On the beaches, the smell of household waste and dead animal carcasses into the nose. Every day, people across the city are generating 900 to 1,000 tons of rubbish and the city once honored for the environment is facing the risk of a lack of landfills. Of course, VND 85 billion dredged is a significant number, but it must be acknowledged that the culverts are caused by people's lifestyles.

Climate change is getting more and more negative. Previously, the rainy season lasted two months. But this year, near the end of the rainy season, there is still not enough water to push saline water for Cau Do water plant, one million urban residents face a shortage of running water for three days. At the end of the rainy season, water collapses causing floods.

I have no intention of comparing the 2018 rain with the historic flood in 1999. But it is easy to see that with the getting rich, the urban density increases, the space responds to the "shocks" from heaven. ears even lower. Everywhere was besieged by concrete, some built according to plan, one built with the power of money, there was a custom built by the people. Round 10 days after the flood, yesterday (December 18) the story of rain flooded the table at the 9th meeting of the City People's Council. Many causes were dissected, but the solutions were still very abstract: "reviewing the planning of the waste water system", "diverging synchronous investment", "taking measures against flooding".

The question is, over the past two decades of economic boom and urban development, what have we done to make a resident of 2018 more resigned than a citizen in 1999 to prevent floods? They can't think of anything else. That's an important question, because it's not just for Da Nang, but for every city in Vietnam - because the urban development method is basically the same.

The next question is what will we do in the next twenty years when the amount of garbage increases (and the habit of garbage by both authorities and people does not improve) and the amount of concrete increases (and habits construction of both people and government planning did not improve). Flooding in the Central is not just a matter of the Central.

If I were still a reporter, and if the cities were still growing in the "proud" way we are now, maybe in 2038, I wouldn't have to ask myself what to expect after the historic flood. They will bundle up their knees.

To conclude, I would like to use the judgment of the leaders of Da Nang Department of Natural Resources and Environment: "Heavy rains are beyond the control of the city's political system". This sentence, can be saved to use for both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, or many cities in Vietnam later.

Nguyen Dong