Severe Flooding Devastates Ha Giang and Meo Vac: A Detailed Report


In June 2024, Ha Giang province in northern Vietnam experienced one of its most devastating natural disasters in recent history. Unprecedented heavy rainfall triggered severe flooding and landslides, particularly affecting the remote and mountainous district of Meo Vac. This catastrophe has caused significant damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and homes, displacing thousands of residents and isolating entire communities.

This article provides a detailed overview of the situation in Ha Giang and Meo Vac, highlighting specific areas and cases, and offers insights into the ongoing recovery efforts.

The Deluge: Causes and Initial Impact

The torrential rains began on June 8, 2024, following a low-pressure system that stalled over northern Vietnam. This weather pattern brought continuous heavy rainfall, causing rivers and streams to overflow and triggering widespread flooding and landslides. Ha Giang, known for its rugged terrain and steep mountains, was particularly vulnerable to such natural disasters.

In Meo Vac, one of the hardest-hit districts, the situation quickly became dire. The Nho Que River, a vital waterway for the region, burst its banks, inundating nearby villages and farmland. The sudden rise in water levels caught many residents off guard, leading to a frantic scramble for higher ground.

Specific Areas Affected

  1. Khau Vai Commune: Khau Vai, a commune in Meo Vac district, was among the worst affected areas. The village is famous for its Love Market, a cultural heritage site, but the flooding turned it into a scene of devastation. Houses, shops, and local landmarks were submerged under meters of water. Many residents reported losing their homes and livelihoods within hours. The local government quickly organized evacuation efforts, but the damage was already extensive.
  2. Lung Cu Hamlet: Located near the border with China, Lung Cu Hamlet faced severe landslides that cut off access to and from the village. The hamlet is known for its iconic Lung Cu Flag Tower, a symbol of Vietnamese sovereignty. However, the heavy rains caused landslides that blocked roads and buried homes. Rescue teams struggled to reach the isolated community, and food and medical supplies had to be airlifted in.
  3. Dong Van Town: Dong Van, a popular tourist destination in Ha Giang, also faced severe flooding. The town’s old quarter, with its ancient houses and cultural sites, was heavily damaged. Businesses that rely on tourism suffered significant losses, as the floods disrupted travel and destroyed infrastructure. Local authorities worked tirelessly to evacuate residents and tourists, ensuring their safety amidst the rising waters.

Human Stories: Tragedy and Resilience

Among the many stories of loss and survival, some stand out as poignant reminders of the human cost of natural disasters. In Meo Vac, a family of four was rescued after being trapped in their home for two days. The parents, both farmers, described how they clung to the roof of their house with their two young children, hoping for help to arrive. Their story is one of many that illustrate the resilience and bravery of the people of Ha Giang.

Another tragic incident involved a 13-year-old boy from Lung Cu Hamlet who went missing after being swept away by floodwaters. Despite extensive search and rescue efforts, the boy’s body was not found until three days later. His family, like many others, mourned the loss of a loved one in the wake of the disaster.

Impact on Agriculture and Economy

Ha Giang is predominantly an agricultural region, and the floods have had a devastating impact on local farming communities. Thousands of hectares of rice paddies, maize fields, and vegetable gardens were destroyed. Livestock losses were also significant, with many animals drowned or swept away by the floodwaters.

The economic impact of the flooding is expected to be severe. Farmers face the daunting task of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods from scratch. The destruction of crops and livestock means a loss of income for many families, exacerbating poverty in an already economically challenged region.

Government and Community Response

In response to the disaster, the Vietnamese government mobilized emergency resources to aid affected communities. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development coordinated with local authorities to provide immediate relief, including food, clean water, and medical supplies. Military units were deployed to assist with rescue operations and to help repair damaged infrastructure.

Local communities have also shown remarkable solidarity and resilience. Volunteers from neighboring districts and provinces traveled to Ha Giang to assist with relief efforts. Donations of money, clothing, and supplies poured in from across the country, highlighting the strong sense of community and national solidarity in times of crisis.

Recovery and Future Challenges

As the floodwaters recede, the focus now shifts to recovery and rebuilding. The challenges ahead are immense. Reconstructing homes, schools, and infrastructure will require significant investment and time. The government has pledged to support affected communities, but the scale of the disaster means that recovery will be a long-term process.

One of the key lessons from this disaster is the need for improved disaster preparedness and infrastructure resilience. Ha Giang’s rugged terrain makes it particularly susceptible to flooding and landslides, and more robust measures are needed to protect vulnerable communities. This includes better early warning systems, improved drainage and flood control infrastructure, and enhanced community preparedness programs.


The severe flooding in Ha Giang and Meo Vac has left a trail of destruction and loss, but it has also showcased the resilience and solidarity of the Vietnamese people. As recovery efforts continue, it is crucial to support affected communities and to implement measures that will mitigate the impact of future natural disasters. The road to recovery will be long, but with collective effort and determination, Ha Giang will rebuild and emerge stronger.

By understanding the specific impacts and challenges faced by areas like Khau Vai, Lung Cu, and Dong Van, we can better appreciate the resilience of these communities and the importance of supporting them in their time of need.

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