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Mekong Delta faces increasing erosion along rivers, canals

Update: July, 30/2020 - 08:00


The aftermath of a landslide in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bạc Liêu. — VNA/VNS Photo Huỳnh Sử

HCM CITY — The beginning of the rainy season has increased land erosion along rivers and canals in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta.

The delta, the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, has reported a number of cases since May.

In past years, landslides would normally occur only during the flooding season in August and November.

On Tuesday, a 31-metre wide, 5m deep stretch of land slid into the Trà Nóc River in Cần Thơ City’s Bình Thủy District, dragging along the back portion of a rice mill and a house.

Cần Thơ has suffered 28 landslides this year, 13 more than in the same period last year, according to its Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue.

They involved 1,410 metres of land and caused 11 houses and parts of 65 others to fall into the water.

The scale of erosion and losses are also larger this year, the committee said.

In An Giang Province, a landslide each occurred along the Hậu River and the Kênh 10 Châu Phú Canal in Châu Phú District on July 22.

Lương Huy Khanh, head of the provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue, said people living there had been forewarned and so there were no casualties.

But he warned there could be further erosion at the two sites, affecting 44 houses and two sawmills.

Lê Anh Tuấn, deputy head of the Research Institute for Climate Change at Cần Thơ University, said the incidence of erosion increases as the season changes from dry to rainy.

Excessive sand mining in rivers, changes in river flows and the severe drought during the last dry season are the major causes of erosion in the delta, he said.

The severe drought caused the soil to dry, facilitating erosion when the rains began, he explained.

In recent years, Cần Thơ and provinces in the delta have undertaken many measures to prevent erosion and mitigate losses from landslides and relocated people living in erosion-prone places to safer areas. — VNS


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