|Measures are needed to decrease the water level at the Đắk N’ting reservoir in Quảng Sơn Commune, Đắk G’long District in Đắk Nông Province. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Hoàng Hiệp requested Đắk Nông Province to prioritise the safety of people amid the complex and unpredictable developments of flooding and landslides triggered by prolonged heavy rains.
He urged Đắk Nông to urgently implement solutions to ensure the safety of dams and prepare action plans for dam breaches within the next 15 days as this period was crucial before the next predicted round of heavy rains.
Hiệp, who is also the deputy head of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, made these remarks during an inspection on the flooding and landslides in Đắk Nông and Lâm Đồng provinces on Monday.
Reports from the Đắk Nông Province’s Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue showed that from July 28 to August 6, the province recorded a total rainfall of approximately 400mm, with some places exceeding 500mm.
Landslides were reported at the Đắk N'ting reservoir in Đắk G'long District, along the Hồ Chí Minh road section passing through Gia Nghĩa City, as well as the bypass road of Gia Nghĩa City, and in Quảng Trực Commune in Tuy Đức District.
The province recorded three deaths due to flash floods. Nearly 200 houses were submerged, over 600 hectares of crops and more than 200 hectares of aquaculture were flooded, resulting in estimated losses of roughly VNĐ250 billion (US$10.5 million).
In response, Đắk Nông has relocated nearly 300 households from areas at risk of landslides to safe places.
Đắk Nông is entering the peak period of heavy rains and floods. The weather, though forecast in advance, may still be unpredictable until the end of the year.
Currently, the province is focusing on the safe operation of over 300 reservoirs, many of which have been deteriorating.
Regarding the landslides at the Đắk N'ting reservoir, the inspection team suggested that immediate measures should be taken to lower the water level in the reservoir. This action was essential to reduce the risk of dam breaches and proactively respond to upcoming rounds of heavy rains and floods.
Moreover, the province needed to promptly carry out monitoring and re-survey the topography, and closely monitor cracks in dams to devise appropriate solutions.
In terms of landslides on the Hồ Chí Minh Road section passing through Gia Nghĩa City, they recommend deploying measures to handle the accumulated water on the left side of the road. The appropriate solutions needed to be calculated before implementing further actions.
Experts also proposed that Đắk Nông should concentrate on ensuring the safety of dams, considering that most reservoirs have reached 70-80 per cent of their capacity, and giving special attention to the nine ongoing reservoir construction projects.
The province should declare an emergency for the Đắk N’ting reservoir and have measures based on the actual conditions.
The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control emphasised that the province should install additional warning signs and danger alerts in schools and densely populated areas to ensure people’s safety.
During the meeting, Deputy Minister Hiệp pointed out that after a severe and intense drought during the dry season the amount of rainfall this July was nearly double that of the same period in 2022. This presented a significant challenge to the province’s disaster prevention and control.
Hiệp also highlighted the challenges faced by Đắk Nông as well as the Central Highlands as the forest areas continued to grow, and the impacts on hillside areas increased in most localities.
He asked the Water Resources Directorate to review the entire system of dams at reservoirs in the central highlands to implement suitable and timely solutions. He said the ministry had proposed to the Government to revise the survey and adjust design standards for reservoirs in the Central Highlands with a focus on expanding geological surveys and assessments at dam shoulders. — VNS