|The scene of an accident where a old tree in the schoolyard of Trần Văn Ơn Secondary School in HCM City’s District 1 fell and injured many students and others on April 3. — Photo www.sggp.org.vn|
HCM CITY — All educational institutions in HCM City have been required to check old trees on their school campuses that are at risk of falling to ensure safety for students and teachers.
On Tuesday afternoon (April 3), the municipal People’s Committee sent an urgent document requiring the city Department of Education and Training to ask educational institutions to review their response plans for natural disasters, and trees in schoolyards.
It also asked the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Public Security and the People’s Committee of District 1 to review and remedy an accident where an old tree in the schoolyard of Trần Văn Ơn Secondary School in HCM City’s District 1 fell and injured many students and others on the morning of April 3.
The tree trunk completely fell on a wall and crossed over Nguyễn Văn Thủ Street. The exposed root was a few metres wide, showing signs of decay.
Initial findings reveal that the incident injured at least one student and five others, including a pregnant woman, who were parking their motorbikes in front of the school gate.
Vice Chairman of the city People’s Committee Dương Anh Đức assigned the Department of Education and Training to promptly coordinate with the People’s Committee of District 1 to visit and encourage the injured people who were hit by the falling tree.
Relevant units were asked to grasp the incident, clarify responsibilities, and submit a detailed report to the city People's Committee.
The city administration has also ordered the city Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Rescue and local authorities to review and make disaster response plans for this year to deal with risks of falling trees and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters ahead of the rainy season.
All preparations must be completed before the rainy season begins.
According to the Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station, heavy rains usually carry strong squalls, increasing the risk of knocking down trees and injuring people.
In addition, the construction of concrete pavements and sewage systems and burying underground power cables have undermined tree photosynthesis and water absorption, weakening plant vitality.
Rapid urban development, with houses suffocating the space and underground projects taking up soil and water, has also affected the trees.
Nearly 100,000 trees of all kinds along streets, residential areas, schools and parks are taken care of by the HCM City Green Tree and Park Company.
To minimise damage caused by falling trees, the company's staff regularly checks old trees that are at a risk of falling and cuts down trees suffering from old age, disease, rot or tilting.
However, it can be difficult to accurately assess tree conditions because some trees that look normal might fall at any time, the company said.
Experts said schools and companies should periodically check trees on their property. During the rainy season, some trees will inevitably fall because of disease or because their roots are not deeply secured in the soil.
Improper care is another cause. Trees receive periodic care based merely on the number of yellow leaves or visible outward manifestations of plant diseases.
Residents are recommended to avoid standing under trees and travelling on roads during rainstorms, and seek safe shelter as soon as possible. — VNS