DEVASTATING FLOODS HIT CENTRAL VIETNAM


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Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An
November 21st 2007
Published: December 9th 2007
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BACH DANG STREETBACH DANG STREETBACH DANG STREET

Only those with a two storey dwelling can save their few possessions.
The past few weeks have seen the worst floods in fifty years reek havoc in many parts of Vietnam. One of the worst affected areas has been low lying Central Vietnam.

Most of Lifestart’s work is concentrated in Central Vietnam, in particular Quang Nam Province .

The majority of the families that Lifestart helps live on a flood prone peninsula in flimsy dwellings, or in tiny boats on the annually flooding river. Whilst the families are used to dealing with the annual floods, this year everyone was caught off guard by the timing and enormity of the flood.

A week prior to the big flood a relatively small flood hit our school and families. During that flood the Lifestart school was 20 centimeters under water, as were the surrounding houses. We all thought that we had been lucky this year and that the floods were only mild by comparison.

After the typhoon that destroyed so much at the same time the previous year, we all thought we were due for a reprieve in 2007.

Sadly this was not to be…… A massive flood hit the peninsula during the night and rose quickly. Tu, my eldest adopted
ARRIVING AT SCHOOLARRIVING AT SCHOOLARRIVING AT SCHOOL

Students arrive to help clean up, the boat pictured is at the front steps of the school....
son and Ghi one of our Jobstart kids went down to the school to check on the rising river at about 8pm. They were then stranded at the school overnight taking refuge balancing on the window ledge as the water rose around them. (I have since found out that the two boys were actually on the roof all night! They had told me they stood on the window ledge as they didn't wan't me to worry!)

The flood continued to rise during the night, I asked them couldn’t they have swam to safety as they are both strong boys but they made the wise decision to stay put as it was pitch black ( power was off ) and the current of the flood was very strong. In addition loads of debris ( the contents of people’s homes ) was being washed away.

Our families have lost everything. They have the clothes on their backs and that’s about it. Food, clothing household contents was washed away or ruined.

The flood rose one storey high about three meters. Our families that live in single storey dwellings spent the night clinging to the rafters of their houses.

Many
THE CLEAN UP TEAMTHE CLEAN UP TEAMTHE CLEAN UP TEAM

Usually the kids would bike ride down to our school, today it is boat transport only.
of the people who you have now come to know via my blogs have been greatly affected by this flood. They include:

Hiep (the herb farmer) had his crop wiped out. Hiep lives miles out of town but the water still managed to find his land and he needed to get a boat into his house! Link to Hiep's blog: Hiep's Changed Life - The Perfect Seedling Grant!

Hanh (who knits scarves and is a member of our disabled group) lives right on the river, her house was under water. Link to Hanh’s blog: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A THREE WHEEL MOTORBIKE MAKES!

Hoa, another member of our disabled group with two young children also lost everything.Link to Hoa’s blog: The Worldwide problem of being a working mother! - Meet Hoa in Hoi An

Hoa, Phuong and their three sons live in a single story small room, this was completely under water. Link to blog: HOA, PHUONG & THEIR THREE SONS

Rin (a young widow) and her two sons also live on the river. They lost what little they had.

Truyen who has cerebral palsy lives with her family close to the Lifestart School, their house was not spared either. Link to blog: THUY, DUC, TRUYEN AND TAY



The Lifestart Foundation Free School was hit hard, we have lost almost everything, it is a crushing blow .
THE CLEAN UPTHE CLEAN UPTHE CLEAN UP

Our gorgeous English class students all helping clean up our classrooms.
The students are doing their best to clean up the mess left after the flood and the government have sent the army down to our school to help .

I return to Vietnam in December at which point I will roll up my sleeves, regroup, assess the damage and classes will resume as soon as practical.

If you would like to help these families or help re establish the Lifestart Foundation Free School donations will be gratefully accepted.



Lots of love from Karen.

www.lifestartfoundation.org.au

P.S. If you know of people who may be interested in the work that Lifestart Foundation is doing please forward this blog or fill out the subscription for them.
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Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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THANH AND HOITHANH AND HOI
THANH AND HOI

Thanh and Hoi knee deep in water trying to salvage some of our classroom equipment. Thanh is a Lifestart Jobstart recipient and Hoi is on an Education Scholarship.
CLEANING THE FLOOR???CLEANING THE FLOOR???
CLEANING THE FLOOR???

Nam who is on an Lifestart educational scholarship is attempting to move the dirty water out of the classroom.........a bit of a loosing battle.
STILL UNDER WATERSTILL UNDER WATER
STILL UNDER WATER

What happened to our beautiful classroom that has been such a safe haven for so many???
WHERE IS THE ROAD???WHERE IS THE ROAD???
WHERE IS THE ROAD???

This is usually a street!
STREETS OF HOI ANSTREETS OF HOI AN
STREETS OF HOI AN

The streets of Hoi An become little rivers and movement is restricted to boat travel only.
LE LOI  STREETLE LOI  STREET
LE LOI STREET

Streets become rivers and pedestrians travel in boats to get around.
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOLTHE LIFESTART FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOL
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOL

This photo was taken after the flood had receeded by about a meter. Look closely and you can see the water line.
CLASSES POSTPONEDCLASSES POSTPONED
CLASSES POSTPONED

This is what is left of our English Class room.
WATER-LOGGEDWATER-LOGGED
WATER-LOGGED

Our cabinets and desks are chipboard covered with laminex. You can imagine what condition they are in after lying in this much water..
BACH DANG STREETBACH DANG STREET
BACH DANG STREET

The river finally receeds and it is back to business.
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOLTHE LIFESTART FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOL
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOL

Before the flood..............
BEFORE THE FLOODBEFORE THE FLOOD
BEFORE THE FLOOD

Here is what our class room looked like before the flood hit.
BEFORE THE FLOODBEFORE THE FLOOD
BEFORE THE FLOOD

Pre-flood classroom.
BEFORE THE FLOODBEFORE THE FLOOD
BEFORE THE FLOOD

Pre-flood view of our classroom.


10th December 2007

Prayers are with you
This is so sad! Hopefully with donations things will be up and running again!
10th December 2007

Thinking of everyone
Karen, what a blow but I am sure your sponsors will dig deep and help these amazing, resilient people (my donation's in the mail!). How wonderful to see the kids smiling through such devastation and so willing to lend a hand to clean up (Westerners could certainly learn much about resilience from others so less fortunate than us.) My love and best wishes to them all.
16th December 2007

Rolled up sleeves speak volumes!
So sorry, dear Karen and All, after so many wonderfully life-giving achievements! Am admiring the rolled-up sleeves, and know you will all be blessed. Sorry I was so late seeing this. Will pass it on.. Love and prayers, Rosemary.

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