GSP-CSRD: Developing flood resilient building code guidelines for coastal areas in Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

Project context and aim:

Like many other regions in South-East-Asia, Thua Thien Hue province in central Vietnam has been repeatedly affected by severe flooding in recent decades. Thua Thien Hue is a coastal province facing flood risk from the sea, rivers and heavy rainfall, which often occur in combination. The most important river in the province is the Huong (Perfume) River that flows into the Tam Giang Lagoon, which is the largest lagoon in South-East Asia, and eventually drains into the Pacific. The Tam Giang Lagoon and adjacent coastal areas are the basis for the livelihoods for many poor and vulnerable people, who directly depend on their natural resources, such as fishermen and farmers. Of the 1.31 million people currently inhabiting the province of Hue, 491,000 reside in 32 communes along the lagoon and the coast. Between 1975 and 2005, 40 flood events occurred in the province that especially impacted the low-lying coastal plains. In addition to the chronic stress and major shocks caused by flood hazards and resulting coastal erosion, a range of societal factors undermine the resilience of already vulnerable groups of society such as poor and women. These groups have little social and financial capital to resist (or: absorb) external shocks, to quickly recover (or: bounce back) in case absorption capacity is exceeded, and to learn from these events for enhancing their future resilience. A significant proportion of Hue’s coastal population has unstable livelihoods and lack financial savings to handle shocks or disruptions. Additional factors include the fast disappearance of coastal ecosystems due to economic activities such as shrimp farming, increasing pressure on natural resources due to population growth. In the future, resilience of coastal communities is expected to be further deteriorated due to the projected effects of climate change on the frequency and intensity of storms and floods as well as sea-level rise,3if no additional and more sustainable disaster risk management and adaptation approaches are adopted.

The 2020 Central Vietnam floods were a collection of floods in Central Vietnam which also affected some areas in Cambodia and Laos in October and early November 2020. The floods focus heavily in several provinces including Thừa Thiên Huế, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, and Quảng Ngãi. The floods were mainly caused by the seasonal monsoon, though enhanced by numerous tropical cyclones. Beginning in 7 October during a seasonal monsoon and tropical depressions over the Khánh Hòa province, several multitude of tropical cyclones during the 2020 Pacific typhoon season, such as Linfa, Nangka, Ofel, Saudel, and Molave, struck the northern and central regions of Vietnam, especially in areas of Laos and Cambodia, bringing high winds and excessive rainfall in these affected provinces, with accumulations peaked at 3,245 mm (127.75 in) in Hướng Linh, Hướng Hóa District, Quảng Trị around 20 October. This subsequent flooding was the first time Vietnam issued IV category disaster alert for heavy rainfall, as III category is the highest alert level.[9] On 5 November, weakening Typhoon Goni entered the South China Sea and made landfall in Central Vietnam two days later as a tropical depression. Etau made landfall in Central Vietnam as a tropical storm three days later. On 12 November, Typhoon Vamco approached Vietnam as it gradually strengthened into Category 4-equivalent status after exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility. As of 15 November 2020, the floods has resulted in over 233 fatalities, 66 people missing and a damage of properties equivalent to VND35.2 trillion (US$1.52 billion).

Project aim:

To develop a flood resilient building code guidelines for coastal area in Thua Thien Hue province.


Expected outcomes:

  • A report on current status of housing in coastal area of Hue with analysis of flood resilient capacity;
  • A recommended flood resilient building code for coastal areas.

 Project deliverables:

 No. Main Deliverable Description Estimated Timing
1 Project Plan Students discuss with RMIT academic supervisors and CSRD about a detailed project plan. February 2021
2 Literature Review in Melbourne Students review relevant literature. March – May 2021
3 Field Work in Hue, Vietnam


Students collect data in collaboration with CSRD staff. May – August 2021
6 Final report Final Report and Presentation on research findings. Oct 2021



  • Students will receive a semester grant from New Colombo Plan funding to cover data collection costs.
  • Only undergraduate Australian citizens are eligible for project funding.


  • Students submit CVs and latest academic transcripts to Nina Nguyen at:
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