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Low tides, flooding create HCMC landslide threat

Update: March, 13/2012 - 10:05

 

Family homes along Thanh Da Canal in HCM City's Binh Thanh District, one of the areas facing a high-risk of landslides. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities have ordered district administrations to prepare for landslides along river and canal banks and keep residents in vulnerable areas informed of the dangers.

Le Thanh Liem, deputy director of the city Steering Committee for Floods and Storms Prevention, said the water level in rivers and canals could be 2m lower than usual between March and September due to lower tides.

The lower level translates into higher risk of landslides along the banks.

The Department of Transport estimates there are 62 areas vulnerable to landslides, 29 of them critically so, in Thu Duc, Binh Thanh, 2, 8, Binh Chanh, and Nha Be Districts.

Authorities here have been asked to put up warnings and residents living along canal banks have been warned to stay alert and prepare for the worst.

The districts have also been told to carry out regular checks for maintenance of weak embankments and dykes and stamp out the illegal sand mining in the Dong Nai and Sai Gon Rivers.

The committee has called for more careful evaluation while licensing construction of houses and wharves along riverbanks, saying such construction exacerbates the risk of landslides.

Last year there were nine landslides in which 4,500sq.m of land, 50m of dyke, and 10 houses were lost.

Ironically, flooding is also a problem in the city, though in other areas, with the head of an anti-flooding project warning of floods of up to 0.6m in 100 spots in Districts of 2, 7, 4, 6, 8, and 12.

Dr Ho Long Phi said the development of residential areas and industrial parks in low-lying areas is worsening the flooding and creating difficulties for flooding prevention work. — VNS

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