|Silt being dredged from the Cua Dai estuary. Thousands of boats cannot enter or leave the river because of a buildup of silt in the waterway. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dang Lam
HCM CITY (VNS) — Thousands of boats in the central province of Quang Nam could not enter or leave Cua Dai estuary in Hoi An in recent days because of a buildup of silt in the waterway.
Nearly 3,000 people on nearby Cham Islands, located 15 km from the Cu Dai estuary, had difficulty travelling to the mainland.
The 1km–wide Cua Dai estuary has a depth of 1.2 metres at low tide and 1.8 metres at high tide, according to the Hoi An Flood and Storm Prevention and Control Steering Committee.
With this water depth, boats with an engine of more than 30 horsepower cannot travel on the estuary, said the steering committee.
The Cua Dai Border Inspection Station said that on November 18-19 more than 80 fishing boats with 700 fishermen were permitted to go offshore, but the boats were unable to travel on the estuary and had to cancel their trips.
Fisherman Le Van Tuc of Cua Dai Ward, said the estuary was shallow and boats could not go through it.
After the year's 11th major storm, Nari, hit the central region last month, the estuary became heavily silted.
This was mainly caused by erosion of a large quantity of sand at a sand-collection site nearby.
Last Thursday, the provincial Department of Transport officials visited the estuary to survey the situation.
Truong Van Can, the department director, said the estuary needed urgent dredging.
At first, the department will use marker buoys to guide travel for boats, he said.
Inspection stations in Hoi An will work around the clock to help local residents travel on the estuary.
"The department will offer advice to the provincial People's Committee so they can find capital to dredge the estuary in the fastest and safest way," he said. — VNS