Hanoi, Vietnam -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/23/2013 -- Hanoi is experiences extreme weather conditions at the moment. Torrential rain falling for several consecutive days caused the Hoan Kiem Lake to burst its banks and floodwater pour into the Old Quarter. Huge sections of the city were under a foot or so of water as businesses and home owners were inundated. River banks have also been breached, in the worst flooding for 24 years.
The lake is called the sword lake after an old legend which tells of emperor Le Loi who, whilst boating on the lake had his magic sword grabbed by a turtle. The sword called Heavens Will, quickly sunk beneath the surface. Loi concluded that his sword had been reclaimed by the Golden Turtle God, known as Kim Qui, who had given him the sword some time earlier, during his revolt against the Chinese Ming Dynasty. L?i then renamed the lake to commemorate this event. The island in the middle is called Turtle Island, like many others in the country.
The Lake is normally one of the busiest tourist attractions in the town but the Joggers, Tai Chi exponents, dancers and walkers who gather here morning and evening had had to wait. Hanoi’s citizens are though, a hardy bunch and everyone appears to simply be going about their business as usual. In some areas the ubiquitous motor bikes have been replaced with makeshift rafts and rowing boats.
The floods have caused frustration for the city authorities who spent time and money this year cleaning out lakes and dredging canals to try and prevent it. However such has been the sheer amount of rain, that it proved futile. It is worth remembering that the floods are only affecting certain parts of the city. This should give planners much needed information as to where to concentrate their efforts for next year.
The annual monsoon rains bring much needed irrigation to the country and they are welcomed by farmers and fruit growers alike. As the rivers surge they bring the necessary nutrient rich waters to enormous areas. This year the flood plains have been saturated for longer than normal, as there seems no let up in the heavy rains. Even in the south they are getting a lot of rain this year.
It has to be said the fortitude of the Vietnamese people is astonishing. They bear the brunt of these violent storms with consummate grace. They merely go about their daily lives as though nothing is wrong. This stoicism will serve them well in the clear up operation, that will follow.
No doubt Hanoi will soon be back to normal as these floods generally recede quickly. Its people will sort out the problems in no time.
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