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Delta province expects more riverbank erosion

Update: May, 30/2012 - 10:35

 

Erosion causes a house to slide into the Hau River in the town of Long Xuyen in the southern province of An Giang. Provincial authorities have warned of more possible landslides. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Vinh
AN GIANG — Authorities in southern An Giang Province have warned of more possible landslides caused by erosion along a 400-metre stretch of the Hau River in Long Xuyen Town's Binh Khanh Ward.

Eight houses and an ice-making factory slid into the river in the last three days, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Vo Duy Cuong, chairman of the Binh Khanh People's Committee, said 40-metre-long cracks were also seen on the bank, adding all families in the threatened area have been evacuated to temporary shelters.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Monday that people losing homes would receive VND20 million in support.

However, getting a new house in a resettlement area is the latter's biggest concern at the moment.

Cuong said provincial authorities were seeking to move people threatened by landslides to clusters of residential areas built to help local people to avoid floods.

According to the Long Xuyen People's Committee, 97 families were moved to a new residential area in the city's Binh Duc Ward due to two landslides in March and May 2012.

Two hundred other families living in other areas threatened by landslides will also be resettled in safe places.

However, a giant residential area to be built in Binh Duc Ward is still on paper, and many relocated families live with their relatives' homes or in schools in the area.

City authorities said it would be built on 10ha at a cost of VND83 billion (US$4 million).

Despite the huge cost involved, construction would be completed as early as possible, they said.

Flood-prone

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has been allocated nearly VND4.2 billion ($200,000) to resettle 330 vulnerable households at risk of floods and landslides.

The people in coastal and river areas would be moved to safe areas before the rainy season this year, provincial authorities said.

Thua Thien-Hue had 127km of coastline, about 25 per cent of which was hit by frequent landslides while Thuan An and Tu Hien estuaries were particularly susceptible to erosion, affecting socio-economic conditions and threatening lives, the authorities said.

Seawater had encroached more each year on the districts of Phu Vang and Huong Tra.

In the area of Hai Duong-Hoa Duan, the sea had moved 100m inland over 4km of the coastal fringe. The resulting erosion had damaged local infrastructure, caused the collapse of lighthouses and, at Thuan An Beach, had washed several motels and houses out to sea, threatening the lives and livelihoods of local people.

Most localities had improved rescue equipment for volunteers, including boats and life jackets, as the rainy season was approaching.

But in the long run, the authorities said, concrete embankments would have to be built along rivers and in coastal areas or residents would have to be moved to safer places. — VNS

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