Lack of green space, the main cause for Da Lat flooding
Da Lat, a popular hill resort town in Lam Dong Province, was severely flooded Thursday following a 30-minute downpour. The downtown area was under nearly a meter of water. The heavy rainfall caused many shops on both sides of Phan Dinh Phung and Nguyen Cong Tru streets to flood, making it difficult for people to evacuate in time and damaging furniture.
Experts believe that Da Lat floods regularly because of the massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions and rapid urbanization, which has taken away all the available green space.
This is not the first time Da Lat has been hit by torrential rain, and the Central Highlands town and its surrounding areas are often submerged after a downpour.
Mr. Vo Ngoc Trinh, Vice Chairman of the Town People's Committee, said that although flooding has occurred in recent days in low-lying areas and near streams, it has not affected most parts of town. The Vice Chairman believed that there are many contributing factors to the recent flooding, such as greenhouses and other structures that contribute to inadequate drainage systems.
Experts said that heavy rains in a short period of time can cause flash floods, but the real problem is the increase in greenhouses - especially in agricultural areas on both sides of the Cam Ly Stream. The number of greenhouses has increased in the last few years and now covers 10,000 hectares out of a total agricultural land area of 18,000 ha.
The greenhouses are present in all wards and communities, though are much more concentrated in certain wards in the inner city. The ability of greenhouses to absorb water is very low, while many lakes have dried up or shrunk in size, causing problems with drainage during rains.
Authorities need to plan for the worst rainfall drainage scenarios.
Architect Ngo Viet Nam Son has long been critical of Da Lat's development trend, citing the city's increasing population density and lack of sustainability in its growth. He has noted that this issue has been compounded by Da Lat's rapid urbanization over the past decade.
According to Son's analysis, deforestation, a sharp decrease in green space and an increase in urbanization are all factors that lead to flooding. Deforestation causes rainwater to run off the land more quickly and cause floods, while a decrease in green space means that there is less room for water to spread out and collect. Urbanization makes it difficult for the city's drainage systems to handle all of the rainfall quickly enough, leading to increased flooding.
He cautioned that Da Lat would have to pay a high price in the long run if it pursues development at the expense of green spaces and places to store water.
"It needs to relocate greenhouses from the center to more remote locations, replacing them with green areas. At the same time it is critical to continue to conserve forests and develop green areas in Da Lat, particularly pine forests."
Dr. Nguyen Mong Sinh, a former president of the Lam Dong Province Union of Science and Technology Associations
Dr. Nguyen Mong Sinh stated that Da Lat needs to take care of and protect its natural lakes and reservoirs in order to maintain a healthy ecosystem. He recommended that the town re-plan agricultural production zones to grow vegetables and flowers in appropriate locations.