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An Giang takes steps to offset landslide risk

Update: June, 05/2012 - 10:20


Members of the public drop sandbags into the Tien river in southern An Giang Province to prevent landslides along a 300-metre stretch of the waterway. Subsidence and landslides are threatening the hundreds of households on the river's banks. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
AN GIANG — The People's Committee of southern An Giang Province has required relevant authorities to re-examine the banks of the Tien and Hau rivers to avoid more landslides in the future.

The statement followed the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment's discovery of many landslide-prone spots along the 300-metre stretch of the Tien River, threatening hundreds of households living there.

This area, which was first put under watch several years ago, has worsened as many whirl pools appear upstream, and downstream flows and are likely to cause more erosion.

Last week, two landslides occurred in the Tien River, swallowing six houses and putting 14 others at risk. The affected residents were forced to evacuate to safer places.

Previously, eight houses and an ice-making factory slid into the Hau River within four days.

No casualties were reported. The erosion caused losses of several billion dong and several cracks in the local main road connecting Phu Tan-Cho Moi districts to HCM City.

Currently, two more houses which ia lying along Binh Khanh District in the Hau River are in danger. The committee has raised concern over the threat of landslides along these two rivers.

Vice Chairman of the committee Vo Anh Kiet said that the committee has required the local authority to re-examine and fill in whirl pools along the river. The large whirl pool in the Hau River would be filled in today.

Local authorities were asked to dredge river beds and install warning signals along the rivers. All vessels and people were banned from the dangerous areas, he said.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was also required to work with Phu Tan District authority to find a new place of living for victims and support them if necessary, he said.

Du The Thach of Phu Tan District People's Committee said the committee has mobilised land in Phu Tho Ward and Phu My Town, which was 5 kilometres away from the victims' house in Phu An Ward.

"There're no land available in Phu An Ward. This is the best we can do," he said.

Thach said landslides have always occurred during rainy seasons because of the natural flow, but they have become more serious in the past several years due to illegal sand exploitation. — VNS

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