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Saltwater threatens Mekong Delta

Update: February, 22/2016 - 08:05
Saltwater kills fish in Ben Tre Province. Saltwater is likely to intrude as far as 70km in the Tien and Hau rivers, the two main tributaries of the Mekong River in the Mekong Delta. — Photo zing.vn

CAN THO (VNS) — Saltwater is likely to intrude as far as 70km in the Tien and Hau rivers, the two main tributaries of the Mekong River in the Mekong Delta, the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said.

This year, salinity intrusion is likely to be more serious than normal from late February to the beginning of May – even through July if it does not rain.

The centre said average temperature in southern localities will be 1 to 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than in previous years. The average rainfall in the region would decrease by between 30-50 percent compared to that in many years, and serious drought is possible in the first months of the year.

According to Viet Nam Irrigation Science Institute Vice Director Tang Duc Thang, around 300,000 ha (over 20 per cent) of rice fields in the winter-spring 2015-2016 crop in the Mekong Delta will be prone to drought and saltwater intrusion.

Notably, salinity has damaged green-skinned grapefruit, durian and mango cultivation areas in Vinh Long, Hau Giang and Soc Trang.

Many localities along the coast have been warned of a shortage of water for daily use since February, particularly Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Rach Gia and Vi Thanh cities. — VNS

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