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Dyke system may be facing catastrophies

Update: June, 17/2008 - 00:00

Dyke system may be facing catastrophies

(18-06-2008)

HA NOI — Hidden catastrophes are waiting to strike the city’s dyke system, according to the Steering Committee on Flood and Storm Relief and Repair.

The committee says the threat exists despite work on upgrading many of the dykes. It’s these upgraded dikes, yet to be tested by large storms and floods, the committee concerned.

Committee deputy director Nguyen Thi Phuc said heavy downpours may cause inundation in a large area in the city. The problem is forecast to be compounded by high flood water levels on the Hong, Duong, Cau and Ca Lo rivers, causing a series of breakdowns such as broken dikes, damaged infrastructure projects and traffic jams.

Changes in water currents in rivers, along with the illegal dumping of waste and exploitation of sand on river beds, are also believed to threaten protective river banks.

Poor water discharge systems have not yet been upgraded. The problem is exacerbated by dilapidated apartments that could easily collapse during strong storms and floods.

To help city dwellers cope with the aftermath of natural disasters, the Industry and Trade Department has been asked to prepare secure food and water supplies for between 50,000 to 100,000 people within a week.

Ambulances, mobile relief workers and vehicles to transport food and water would also be prepared for emergencies.

Households with difficulties caused by floods and storms will be provided with money and rice. — VNS

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