09 Apr 2021

Flooding in Vietnam has impacted all regions of the country. Flooding in central Vietnam is mainly caused by typhoons, flooding in south and north Vietnam results from long and heavy rain in summer time. 

Table Contents
  • I - Overview of Vietnam flooding
  • II - Statistics of floods in Vietnam in the last 3 years
  • 1 - Historical flood in North Vietnam  in 2017
  • 2 - Floods in Central Vietnam -  region hit a historic milestone in 2017
  • 3 - Flash floods and landslides in Lai Chau in 2018
  • 4 - Floods in Quang Binh
  • III - Largest flooding in Vietnam ever recorded
  • 1 - The great flood in November 1999
  • 2 - Floods caused by Typhoon Niki devastated the north in 1996
  • 3 - Ha Tinh suffered from the largest Vietnam flood in history within the past 100 years
  • 4 - The Central struggled with floods in 2020
  • IV - To what extent did Vietnam floods affect tourism?
  • V - Advice for visitors in Vietnam flooding season 
floods in vietnam
Source: Jonathan Ford

I - Overview of Vietnam flooding

Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia with latitude stretching from 23°23’B to 8°27'B, entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and has a tropical monsoon climate. The amount of solar radiation is large with 1400-3000 hours of sunshine per year. The average amount of rainfall across the country is 1500 - 2000mm.
The average temperature is about 21℃ to 27℃, and the south has higher temperatures than the north. The weather in the north is divided into 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In the south, it is divided into only 2 seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. Due to the influence of tropical monsoon climate and complex topography, Vietnam often suffers from natural disasters and extreme weather: storms, droughts, hails, tornadoes and especially floods. Floods in Vietnam cause a lots of serious impacts on people's life and country's economy. 

vietnam flooding

Source: Nazrin B-va

II - Statistics of floods in Vietnam in the last 3 years

In the last 3 years, Vietnam has experienced many major floods, affecting not only properties but also people's lives. Not only that, overcoming the aftermath of the floods is also a big challenge for people and the authorities at the places where the flood occurred. Some floods are extremely serious, such as:

1 - Historical flood in North Vietnam  in 2017

vietnam floods

Source: Wikipedia

The historical floods occurred from August 1 to August 3, 2017 in the Northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam. Many provinces suffered from heavy losses of lives and properties such as Yen Bai, Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien and Cao Bang. Regarding human losses, the floods cost 9 lives, left 12 injured and 24 still missing. 196 houses were swept away and collapsed completely, 102 were unroofed and 75 had to be repaired when the floods finished.
The crops also suffered no less than that. More than 130 hectares of rice were washed away and buried in sandy soil; 124 hectares of corn were uprooted and broken; 89 buffaloes and cows were swept away; 835 poultries (including chickens, ducks and geese) died.
In addition, many buildings were injured such as QL12, QL32, QL4H, QL379B; many irrigation works were damaged; Nam Chien Hydroelectric Plant was isolated.

2 - Floods in Central Vietnam -  region hit a historic milestone in 2017

In October, November 2017, in the central provinces such as Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, etc, floods peak on rivers alarmingly.
Rising floods got people living in flooded areas in trouble in all aspects because they were deeply seperated and made it difficult to transport food. In addition, crops, rice, and corn owned by rural people were seriously affected. The dikes in many provinces were broke or had trouble regulating water.

3 - Flash floods and landslides in Lai Chau in 2018

Heavy rains in Lai Chau started from the evening of June 23 until the afternoon of June 24, causing flash floods and serious landslides in the province.
This flood in Vietnam cost 3 lives, left 5 injured and 3 went missing. In addition, landslides also damaged many roads and suspension bridges in the province. Damage was estimated at up to VND 40 billion.

4 - Floods in Quang Binh

On September 4, 2019, tropical depression caused floods in many districts of Quang Binh province, causing alarmingly high water levels in many rivers and streams. The dangerous situation left 2 people dead, 1 injured, and more than 1600 houses isolated. Roads in the province were congested, unable to circulate while dykes met many problems, etc, causing many people to evacuate and students to leave school.

III - Largest flooding in Vietnam ever recorded

In the history from past to present, Vietnam has experienced many terrible floods, causing enormous damage. Let's take a look at the following floods:

flood in north vietnam

Source: Rfi.fr

1 - The great flood in November 1999

In October 1999, heavy rain began in the central region and in November, the whole central region was heavily flooded. Floods have swamped 10 provinces and cities, causing 595 deaths and property damage of up to 3773 billion VND.

2 - Floods caused by Typhoon Niki devastated the north in 1996

On August 23, 1996, the North suffered from Typhoon 4 called Niki, which caused heavy rain and flooding on a large scale. Several days of flooding broke many dykes in the Red River Delta, causing great damage. Rising water left 61 people dead and missing,161 injured; 7465 buildings such as schools, hospitals, houses collapsed; Damaged rice and crops amounted to more than 100,000 hectares.

3 - Ha Tinh suffered from the largest Vietnam flood in history within the past 100 years

In 2010, a terrible flood took place in Huong Khe, Ha Tinh, leaving thousands of people empty-handed, deprived of homes, lands and crops. The torrential rain poured down on the afternoon of October 16, preventing many people from action, causing the deaths of 32 people, traffic paralysis, serious damage and shutdown of many buildings.

4 - The Central struggled with floods in 2020

Central Vietnam was already struggling with massive floods in 2020. In just over a month from October 7 to November 17, central Vietnam was heavily affected by two tropical depressions and more than five major storms. In which, the biggest storm is typhoon No. 12, named Hurricane Etau, which landed in the Central region on November 10-11, 2020. Provinces affected heavily by floods include Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, ... severe landslides and floods on a large scale, causing severe impacts on people and property.
This historic flood in Vietnam central not only caused damage to people and property, but also left people in the central region many losses, pain and obsession. By the end of October 31 in 2020, natural disasters such as storms, floods and  landslides left 152 people dead and missing, 222 got injured; and 111,900 houses were collapsed, swept away or damaged. There were more than 3,000 cattle and 600,500 poultry died, about 45,000ha of rice and 22,300ha of other crops were destroyed.
In particular, severe damage caused by landslides - the result of heavy rain, lasting for many days are the most serious: 
- Rao Trang 03 hydroelectric landslide: made 17 workers missing, in the rescue team of 21 people, 13 members were missing. As of October 14th, a total of 30 people died and were missing due to landslides in this area.
- Huong Hoa - Quang Tri landslide: A landslide in the 337 Corps stationed area caused 22 deaths. The landslide of the Huong Hoa mountain area buried a house, killing 6 people, killing one soldier.
- Nam Tra My & Phuoc Son - Quang Nam landslide: The landslide in Nam Tra My on October 28th left 53 people missing, of which 33 were alive, 16 were injured and 23 people died. On the afternoon of October 28th, a landslide occurred in Phuoc Loc commune,  being unable to supply food to 3,000 isolated households. Landslides caused many roads to be divided and 200 workers working in Dak Mi 2 hydropower project stuck.
- Khanh Hoa - Lam Dong landslide: In the afternoon of November 29, nearly 2,000m3 of rock and soil were collapsed in Khanh Le pass, causing traffic to be divided, 4 people were swept away and flooded a lot for the coastal area from Ninh Thuan to  Phu Yen.

IV - To what extent did Vietnam floods affect tourism?

flood in south vietnam

Source: Vnexpress

Types of natural disasters in Vietnam, especially floods, have a great impact on the tourism industry. Floods have caused damage to tourism infrastructure, affecting travel and risking the lives of tourists.
Tourism constructions, if facing prolonged floods, will be damaged and degraded. For example, Cau Pagoda in Hoi An, as the rainy season passes, is increasingly seriously damaged. Without timely restoration and protection activities, this tourist spot will collapse in the near future.
During this difficult time, tourism and travel companies will be afraid to organize tours. Because when organizing tours, the companies are meant to protect the lives and health of guests. However, extreme weather disasters are unpredictable and tourists' safety will not be ensured.
For these reasons, during the rainy season, the tourism market is very sluggish, affecting the revenue of companies and individuals who earn their living on tourism.

V - Advice for visitors in Vietnam flooding season 

flood in central vietnam

Source: Vnexpress

International tourists who are not familiar with the weather and climate issues in Vietnam, should thoroughly learn about them before traveling. The season of flood usually starts in June and ends in December, particularly the most powerful storms are in August, September and October.
If you go to Vietnam during a typhoon, look for a trustworthy person who can advise you on places where you will be less likely to be affected by floods (because not all places in Vietnam are prone to floods).
And do not forget to equip yourself with some knowledge about self-protection, always check the weather of the day before leaving the hotel. Remember, your life is above all, don't endanger yourself for an impulsive moment.
It can be seen that the Vietnam flooding season normally coincides with the low tourist season. Therefore, it will be much easier for tourists to arrange and plan for a perfect trip without any flood from November to April of the following year.  

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