Over the weekend civic workers in various districts in the central city joined personnel from the state-run Da Nang Drainage and Wastewater Treatment Company to clear garbage that was blocking gutters and filling up the sewerage system.
In many cases, the gutters were covered by litter thrown by people living in their vicinity.
In others, they were blocked on purpose to contain the odor.
On Hoang Hoa Tham Street near the intersection with Le Duan Street, three sewers were completely blocked, and the staff from the company had to break the sewer grill to get to the trash inside.
Workers break the sewer grill to get to the trash inside on Hoang Hoa Tham Street of Da Nang City, September 16, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Huynh Trung Nhan, the company’s deputy director, said the flooding on Hoang Hoa Tham and Le Duan streets has been a recent occurrence. The area is high above sea level, and the only reason it was flooded was garbage blocking the sewers, he said.
“Many people litter the streets while others sweep all the garbage from their yards into the streets, and when it rains heavily, the water carries the trash into the drains.”
Vo Tan Ha, deputy director of the city Department of Construction, said last week that the area has more than 120 sewer grills on the two streets and all of them have been recently upgraded, and so “it is hard to understand” why the area floods every time it rains heavily.
Le Tu Gia Thanh, chairman of Hai Chau District, said there are many other streets in the city where sewers are blocked, including Ong Ich Khiem, Le Duan and Nui Thanh.
Besides garbage, work to lay telecom cables and clean water pipes also blocks the flow of water, he said.
Many streets in the city center now have no place for trash bins, causing people to throw litter on the street instead.
Motorcyclists wade through waters as the street is flooded following heavy rains in Da Nang City on September 10, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
For a while now Da Nang has been struggling with flooding during the rainy season.
In October last year it experienced historic flooding that left the entire city under 1.5 m of waters after it received 795 mm of rain in one night following Storm Son Ca.
The flooding caused four deaths and cut off power supply to more than 200,000 households.
According to the department, there are another nine spots across the city that regularly suffer flooding.
On the evening of September 10, after receiving 100 mm of rainfall in two hours, several downtown streets like Le Duan, Hung Vuong and Ham Nghi were badly flooded, with some sections drowning under 0.5- 0.7 m of water.
Hundreds of cars stalled and had to be towed home, leaving traffic in utter chaos.
The construction and natural resources and environment departments also pointed out that the drainage system was built more than 25 years ago in which time the city has undergone rapid urbanization.
More concrete buildings mean an increase in the impervious land area as there is not enough soil to absorb the water, resulting in bigger and bigger runoffs. Meanwhile, the incidence of extreme rainfall is steadily increasing.
The growing urban population also means an increase in the amount of garbage, which is increasingly clogging the drainage network.
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