Is global warming to blame for an unprecedented five-day ban on cruising in Halong Bay that has resulted in deaths and cruise operators cancelling business? It would seem so.
For at least five days last month the popular tourist destination of Halong Bay was closed to all cruise activities due to floods and torrential rain in the region. Fourteen deaths occurred from the flooding, and several people went missing according to a Bangkok Post report.
The closure resulted in thousands of tourists facing disappointment and cruise operators putting business on hold as Halong Bay cruises were struck from itineraries.
According to local government authorities, the Halong Bay flooding is the most severe since 1986.
In a release, Halong Bay’s largest cruise operators Bhaya Cruises reported their boats and staff were all safe with its fleet docked at Tuan Chau Island.
“We are joining hands with local boat operators to send support and help to people in affected areas. Working in Halong Bay for more than 2 years, I have not seen any cancellation of cruises before, because of rain like this,” said Andrej Stein, Director of Operations of Bhaya Cruises.
The cancellations have affected almost 1,000 passengers. Our local delivery supplies are being interrupted by the flood but we hope to resume our normal cruising by the 2nd August.”