Mekong floodwaters rise rapidly
  • | VNS | August 30, 2011 02:16 PM

Floodwaters from the upper stream of the Tien and Hau rivers, the main tributaries of the Mekong River, are threatening thousands of ha of the autumn-winter rice crop.

Residents use a traditional net for fishing during the flood season in Vinh Hau Commune, Tan Chau District, An Giang Province.

High tides combined with heavy rains have caused floods to rise quickly in the upper-stream districts of An Giang and Dong Thap provinces, according to the Southern Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

In An Giang, the water level of Tien River in Tan Chau Station rose to 3.83 metres last Saturday and the water level of Hau River in Chau Doc Station reached 3.15 metres.

Vo Thanh, director of the An Giang Province Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said floodwater levels would increase by 3-5 cm a day in the coming days.

Rapidly rising floods are threatening thousands of ha of newly planted rice in An Giang, Dong Thap, Kien Giang and Long An provinces as well as Can Tho City.

Dong Thap Province is facing the highest risk as it has 90,000 ha of newly planted rice.

Duong Nghia Quoc, director of the Dong Thap Province\'s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province planted a total of 100,000 ha of autumn-winter rice crop. Dykes surround all rice planting areas.

The province\'s districts are upgrading weak dykes to protect the autumn-winter rice crop.

Chau Thanh District alone has about 5,000 ha of rice surrounded by weak dykes.

Farmers in the Delta have planted about 600,000 ha of autumn-winter rice crop, an increase of 100,000 ha against last year.

The Central Steering Committee for Flood Prevention and Control has ordered provinces to provide information about the situation of flood to local residents, relocate households in flood-prone areas and upgrade dykes and sluice gates.

The central steering committee has also instructed localities to set up plans to pump floodwater from rice fields to protect the rice crop and ensure sufficient number of facilities and human resources for rescue activities.

Nguyen Van Duong, deputy chairman of the Dong Thap Province People\'s Committee, said the flooded districts of Tan Hong, Hong Ngu, Tam Nong and Thap Muoi had organised 336 sites to ensure the safety of nearly 6,000 children.

The province has also set up 462 rescue teams with 4,200 members. Of the 462 rescue teams, 250 are working round the clock at critical sites.

The province\'s Steering Committee for Flood Prevention and Control has also ordered localities to urgently relocate 2,700 households in landslide-prone areas into flood-proof areas, Duong said.

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