River bank collapse undermines homes
PHU THO — More than 30 households have been impacted by the collapse of the right bank of the Thao River and the left bank of the Lao canal in Bang Gia Commune, in the northern province of Phu Tho.
The local government has reported erosion along 400 metres of the Thao River and 100 metres of the Lao canal.
Resident Nguyen Thi Thao said her garden and bathrooms were swept away after the erosion became worse in mid-March.
Large cracks were also reported on the ground near many other houses.
Thao's family spent more than VND100 million (more than US$4,750) last year fortifying a stretch of the river embankment behind her house to no effect, she said.
Chairman of the communal People's Committee Phung Tien Long said the construction of large new houses on weak ground had caused the erosion along the Lao canal.
Meanwhile, landslides along the Thao River banks, which had been occurring naturally for dozens of years, became more serious after construction began on the Ha Hoa Bridge earlier this year, he said.
A new road was built to transport materials to the construction site, leading the flow of the river to change direction.
"The commune is looking for land to use as an urgent evacuation site if the landslides continue to get worse," said Long.
The local government plans to fortify the embankments on part of the river to ensure safety for residents and the nearby National Road 32C. — VNS