HCM CITY — Central provinces, which bear the brunt of the storms that batter Viet Nam annually, are in bad shape this year: several dykes have deteriorated, many areas have become erosion-prone, and rivers are silted.
The mouth of the Ben Hai River in Quang Tri Province is more than half filled with silt, making it difficult for boats to traverse, Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper reported.
The river mouth plays a vital role in enabling fishing boats to shelter from storms in Quang Tri.
Nguyen Dinh Te, People's Committee chairman of nearby Cua Tung town, said the silt build-up began five years ago.
Many boats could not enter the river and were, as a result, sunk or damaged during previous storm seasons, he said.
The People's Committee has decided to dredge the area before this year's storm season.
In Thua Thien – Hue Province, the dyke on the right bank of the Huong River, which protects 600ha of rice in lower stream communes from saline water intrusion and high tides, has eroded in many places.
Phan Thanh Hung, head of the province's Sub-department of Flood and Storm Prevention and Control and Dyke Management, said a recent inspection found water leaking at 13 spots in the dyke, damaging it.
A 400-meter section between the Bau Ha sluice gate and Hai Trinh pumping station alone has seven such spots.
They were caused by the rising water level due to the closure of the Thao Long Dam downstream to retain water for irrigating the summer-autumn crop, Hung said.
High tides had also caused erosions in several sections, he said.
The sub-department was working with competent agencies to repair the damage, he added.
In Ha Tinh Province's Loc Ha District, the sea dyke in Thach Kim and Thach Bang communes has eroded severely, threatening residents' safety.
Nguyen Ha Hong, chief of the Thach Kim People's Committee Office, said: "Seawater intrusion has caused paddy fields to be abandoned and erosion has destroyed many houses and shops."
Several aquaculture farms, transport infrastructure, and inner-field irrigation works have also been affected by the seawater, he said.
In Quang Nam Province, the mountainous Tay Giang, Dong Giang, Nam Giang, and Tra My districts are facing a threat of being cut off by landslides.
National Highway 14G, which links Da Nang with Dong Giang and Tay Giang, is usually blocked after heavy rains as a result of landslides.
In Tay Giang, erosion along the A Vuong hydroelectric reservoir has destroyed many houses in Alua K'la and PachePalanh resettlement areas.
Earlier this year, the Tay Giang People's Committee had to create two new resettlement areas to move 115 households from the two places.
Bh'ling Mia, chairman of the Tay Giang People's Committee, said the district has moved 70 families to safer areas while the remaining 45 have not been relocated since house foundations have not been built yet.
Work is proceeding to complete them and relocate the people before this year's storm season, he said.
Construction of the National Defence Road connecting Lang Commune with the mountainous Tr'sHy, Axan, G'Ry, and Ch'Um communes is behind schedule, so the latter four are facing the risk of being isolated during the storm season. — VNS