HCM City explores sinkhole mystery

Update: December, 22/2010 - 10:25

HCM CITY — HCM City's Union of Science and Technology Association has set up a team to discover the cause of the sinkholes that have appeared in many locations in the city.

So far 59 of the sinkholes have appeared after first appearing in July and the 12-member expert team is set to study them, find the cause, and offer solutions.

It will survey 30 of the biggest holes and investigate if they have anything to do with electricity and telecom cables and water pipes that have been laid within a radius of 50m.

The team will also drill to a depth of 0.3m – 10m at these sites to check the geological status and groundwater level.

Engineer Vu Duc Thang, deputy chairman of the city Association of Consultants in Science, Technology and Management hailed the setting up of the team after authorities had earlier passed the buck to each other.

Last week deputy chief of the Institute of Water and Environment Technology, Vu Van Bang, tried twice to uncover more sinkholes to prevent further mishaps but failed.

Among the worst sinkholes are one on Le Van Sy Street in District 3, which is two metres deep and measures five metres by four metres, and another in Go Vap District which is 1.5m deep. A taxi was trapped in the former and a truck in the latter since September.

Dr. Dang Huu Tiep, director of the Union of Geo-Engineering, Construction and Environment, said the depressions were a consequence of the land structure and water in the city. The most important cause was the bogginess of the land in many places in the country's south-east, he said. — VNS