The island, a tourist hotspot in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, has suffered torrential downpours brought by Typhoon Wipha, which submerged thousands of houses.
As of August 11 morning, the district continued to experience rain but the rainfall was not as heavy as in previous days. The water level has fallen and many families have returned to their homes.
Mai Van Huynh, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quoc district, said climate change was one of the reasons for the flooding.
The total rainfall from August 2 to August 9 was more than 1,000mm. On August 9 alone, the rainfall reached 335mm, higher than the total rainfall of 1997 which was 327mm, he said.
The record rainfall occurred in a short time, coinciding with rising sea levels, affecting the drainage system that takes water from rivers and streams to the sea, he said.
The system, built in 2003, has become overloaded due to an increase in population and tourists in recent years.
According to Phu Quoc district’s Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Rescue, heavy rain over the past few days has left around 8,424 houses flooded, 24 others destroyed or without roofs and a large area of crop devastated. The total damage was estimated at over 107 billion VND (4.6 million USD).
Some 63 km of roads were under 0.7-2 metres of water. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in the district.
The district authority has mobilised local rescue teams and soldiers to evacuate nearly 2,000 people. Thousands of free meals have been supplied for households who have been affected by flooding.
Huynh said after the flood receded, the island would review the drainage system and dredge rivers, streams and canals to prevent garbage from obstructing the flow of water.
Authorities would step up inspection of construction to dismantle illegal encroachments, he said.
They would also take measures to ensure the safety of people living in flooded areas, he promised.
Authorities would focus on disinfection to prevent diseases.
Duong Dong town’s drainage system would be upgraded and canal and river encroachment would be cleared, Huynh said.
On August 10, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines said that 14 flights were added on the Hanoi-Phu Quoc route and HCM City-Phu Quoc route, raising the number of flights to 32 in total, to transport passengers affected by the bad weather.
Earlier, many airlines cancelled flights, leaving 1,560 passengers stranded, after an unrelenting downpour flooded the runway of the Phu Quoc International airport.