back x

Learning from Typhoon Mirinae: Urbanization and Climate Change in Quy Nhon City, Vietnam

On November 2, 2009, typhoon Mirinae slammed into the coast of central Vietnam killing 122 people and causing $280 million in damage to property. While typhoons strike Vietnam each fall, the severity of this storm caught both meteorologists and local disaster relief professionals off guard. However, though storms like Mirinae are infrequent, they are not unusual, and storms of this magnitude have historically occurred about every 20 years. This report focuses on analyzing the causes of typhoon Mirinae’s severity and, using approved scenarios for climate change, assessing the potential impacts resulting from implementation of the Area Plan for Nhon Binh to 2020.

Contents include:

  • How farmers, fishermen and salt makers have historically adapted to the flood-prone environment of the Ha Thanh River delta;
  • A chronology of the historical flood of November 2, 2009 based on detailed interviews, satellite imagery and site visits;
  • An assessment of landscape changes in Nhon Binh prior to typhoon Mirinae and how these changes contributed to the flood’s severity;
  • Comparison of the flood chronology to results from a new hydrological model of the delta constructed for this study using available rainfall, elevation and stream flow data;
  • Assessment of potential impacts of flooding if the Nhon Binh Area Plan is fully built, under various future climate change scenarios; and
  • Conclusions and suggest recommended actions.

Overall, the report clearly illustrates that flood risks are changing in Quy Nhon, both due to climate and development. To avoid catastrophe, a new approach to urban planning is needed, one that is able to adapt to the risks imposed by a changing climate and thereby reduce risks to lives and property of all
community residents.


Citation: DiGregorio, M. (2013). Learning from Typhoon Mirinae: Urbanization and climate change in Quy Nhon City, Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Vietnam. 

Funded By:  The Rockefeller Foundation