Viet Nam News
CENTRAL REGION — With the monsoon approaching, the condition of hundreds of reservoirs in the central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị has increased concerns of possible danger.
Funds allocated from the government budget for repair work are insufficient, resulting in temporary repairs that do not ensure complete safety when water in the reservoirs reaches its peak.
A report by Irrigation Department in Hà Tĩnh Province said 190 out of 350 reservoirs in the province are in bad condition due to deterioration over time. These include reservoirs in the districts of Hương Sơn, Nghi Xuân and Thạch Hà, which could collapse any time, department deputy director Trần Duy Chiến said.
Chiến added that the reservoirs were built some 40 years ago and repairs were not done annually.
Deposits lead to the formation of layers on the reservoir beds, reducing their reserve capacity. This means more pressure on the reservoir walls when a high volume of water pours into the reservoirs.
The condition of the reservoirs is also worrying local authorities of Quảng Bình Province. According to Nguyễn Ngọc Phụng, director of the province’s Irrigation Department, almost all reservoirs in the province were built in the 1970s and their walls were seriously damaged.
Phụng said no overall maintenance was conducted since then due to the lack of funds from the local budget.
Phụng said there were many holes on the reservoir beds, cracks on walls and loose sluice gates. Last year’s floods had only worsened the situation. Residents living in the lower parts of the reservoirs said they were forced to evacuate to safer places due to fears of the reservoirs collapsing.
According to the irrigation department, localities where the reservoirs were located had built earthen embankments to store water for cultivation. However, these earth embankments were in danger of being washed away in the floods, Phụng said.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Quảng Trị Province reported that the province has 131 reservoirs for irrigation and agriculture. The reservoirs are as old as those in Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình, resulting in similar concerns among locals with the flood season approaching.
Nam Thạch Hãn, a reservoir that was heavily damaged by floods late last year, had not been repaired properly, resulting in the fear that is could collapse in the coming flood season.
Triệu Thượng No 2, another reservoir in Quảng Trị, had a 55m crack on the upper wall that had not been repaired yet. The department’s staff expected the crack would increase when water in the reservoir reached its peak during the monsoon.
Authorities in Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình have asked for Government support in installing monitoring tools for prompt release of water in case water in the reservoir reached an alarming level.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has first responded to calls from Quảng Trị due to the critical condition of local reservoirs. The ministry will disburse VNĐ1.2 trillion (US$53 million) for a grand overhaul of the most damaged reservoirs in the locality. — VNS