Central region,floods,clean up
A worker sprays disinfectant in Cam Quang Secondary School in Cam Quang Commune, Cam Xuyen District in central Ha Tinh Province after the floodwater decreases.

Lien just got back home on Saturday after being evacuated three days prior. Her village in central Ha Tinh Province, like other localities Central Vietnam, was severely hit by historic flooding, which was triggered by prolonged heavy downpours in the past two weeks.

“I have never seen such a severe flood in my life. The floodwater was so strong and quick and submerged everything. My house has only one floor while the water raised up to 2 metres,” Lien said.

Cam Due Commune, where she lives, is the lowest-lying area in the province. She was among the last people to be able to return home after the floodwaters receded.

“My family has five people. Three of us decided to stay at home to take care of the property, but the water was so quick that we couldn’t do anything but swim out for help,” she said.

All of her family’s property, including 50 bags of rice seed, 100 chickens and two cows, was swept away. The furniture and the electronic appliances were submerged and seriously damaged.

Hoang Van Quyet, another resident in Cam Due Commune, said he finished cleaning his house. Like many other villagers, he has nothing left.

“Our 70 chickens and a buffalo were all gone,” he said.

Central region,floods,clean up
A local resident in Cam Quan Commune in Cam Xuyen District dries rice seed after it has been submerged for days. VNA/VNS Photos Minh Quyet

Now he's trying to dry the rice seed on the floor in the hope that it can be used for the next crop. The rice seed was submerged for days, smelled sour and had started to germinate.

“At least it can be used for poultry feed,” he said.

Quyet also brought the refrigerator and the washing machine, the two only electronic devices left after the flood, to a local repair shop, but with little hope.

“We have received clean water, sticky rice cakes, medicine and many other necessities from donors. This really makes us feel much better having a helping hand in difficulties,” he said. 

Right after the floodwaters receded, local authorities and volunteer groups in Ha Tinh supplied food, essential necessities and clean water. Thousands of police officers and soldiers were mobilised to help local people get back on their feet.

The provincial Centre for Disease Control sent a team of staff to help people clean the environment, especially water sources for daily use, collect dead animals and spray powdered lime or sterilised chemicals to prevent diseases. 

 

Le Ngoc Chau, director of the provincial Department of Health said all provincial-level hospitals, Loc Ha District General Hospital and Can Loc District Medical Centre sent staff, together with 700,000 water purification tablets, to Cam Xuyen District General Hospital and health clinics affected by the floods.

As many as 12 types of medicine and health equipment were sent to the flood-hit areas. Medical staff have guided local people on how to prevent diseases caused by flood, such as food poisoning, diarrhoea and cholera.

Central region,floods,clean up
A teacher collects books while cleaning up a classroom at Cam Due Primary School in Cam Due Commune, Cam Xuyen District in central Ha Tinh Province.

In Cam Xuyen, Huong Son, Huong Khe and Vu Quang districts, hundreds of youths, volunteers and teachers cleaned up the classrooms and collected learning tools so students can return to school soon.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Phan Ngoc To, head of Cam Xuyen District Police in Ha Tinh Province said the police have assigned cadres and soldiers to localities to help people, especially in damaged schools.

Tran Quyet Thang, head of a volunteer group in Ha Tinh Province, said the most urgent task was to help local people clean up their houses, hospitals, schools and roads.

“I’ve set up a team and called upon young people, especially students from all over the country, to help clean up the debris in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces,” he said.

“I’ve just arrived in Quang Binh after completing the cleaning work in Ha Tinh. Garbage is everywhere and occupies the Nhat Le River. There’s a lot that needs to be done here before another storm hits these places,” he said.

Thang said his team would work with local people to speed up the work while receiving equipment such as canoes, ceramic filter pots and life jackets in preparation for coming storms.

On Saturday, the Government allocated VND500 billion (US$21.5 million) from the State budget to help Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Ha Tinh provinces overcome the consequences of the floods.

Dau Thi Lien, a resident in Cam Due Commune, said her mood was much better after getting donations from people all over the country. She now has some rice, sticky rice cakes, clothes and clean water for daily use.

“I hope I can have financial support to buy rice seed for cultivation in the next crop and chickens and cows for breeding. It’s the only way to restart our life,” she said.  VNS

Khanh Linh & Phan Quan

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What cause disasters in central Vietnam?

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