Viet Nam News
HỘI AN — Big waves and a rise in sea level have washed away an area of 4,000sq.m of Cửa Đại Beach, 5km from Hội An’s ancient town since last week, after a series of tropical low pressures and heavy downpours hit the central coastal region.
The chairman of the Hội An City’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Văn Dũng, said that despite positive measures to save the beach from erosion, the beautiful beach has gradually been disappearing.
Dũng said a 1,100m Geotube sandbag dyke, positioned under the water 60m off the beach, could not prevent big waves from crashing onto the beach and washing the sand away.
Sea water also overcame a 400m section of underwater sandbags to erode 10m of the beach, threatening coastal resorts and hotels.
“It’s the worst since 2009 when we started positive measures to protect the beach from disappearing. We spent over VNĐ80 billion (US$3.6 million) to build sea dykes or temporary embankments with bamboo and sandbags, as well as the Geotube sandbag, but it’s still in vain,” said Dũng.
“The city has spent another VNĐ100 billion ($4.4 million) to build sandbag dykes,” he said.
Palm trees uprooted by severe erosion in Hội An city’s Cửa Đại beach.
According to the city’s latest report, a 20-ha area of Cửa Đại beach was washed away between 2009-14.
He said the city has urged the central government to allocate emergency funds and effective measures to protect the beach.
Dũng said 70,000cu.m of sand and sludge would be dredged from the Cửa Đại Estuary to fill up the beach and shore up the protective underwater sandbag dyke system following an urgent decision adopted last week at a meeting with the department of irrigation.
Sand bag dyke to protect Cửa Đại beach in Hội An city from erosion. — VNS Photo Nguyên Khôi
Last year, the city and the Agency for Development of France (AFD) agreed to conduct a survey of beach nourishment as a sustainable and effective protection of Cửa Đại beach with an investment of 136,000 euro ($327,000), but the money will only be given in 2018 once the survey begins.
An expert from Hội An City blamed the erosion on the construction of resorts on the beach and the lack of proper environmental assessments before dredging the estuary.
The city has planned an investment of VNĐ7.5 billion ($357,000) to replant 140ha of Nipa palm (a species of palm native to the coastlines) along the Thu Bồn River to reduce sand erosion in Cửa Đại beach, but the ecological solution has not yet been approved.
French-Vietnamese architect, Bùi Kiến Quốc, who lives in Hội An, said erosion would hit An Bàng Beach, 2km away from Cửa Đại, in the next few years. — VNS