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VietNamNews

Coal mine blamed for landslides

Update: March, 19/2014 - 10:00

HOA BINH (VNS) — A number of landslides have shaken An Nghia Commune in the northern province of Hoa Binh's Lac Son District this month, likely due to a nearby coal mine.

Five sinkholes have formed in the area, according to Bui Van Canh, head of the commune's Khi Hamlet.

"The first hole, eight metres deep and ten metres wide, appeared in a local field on February 12. Two days later, the second hole appeared in the inter-communal road, seven metres from the residential area," Canh said.

The land subsidence also caused cracks along the inter-communal road and in the walls of several local houses.

As many as 11 of the 70 households in Khi Hamlet are on the verge of collapse and one local household was forced to evacuate, according to the local authorities.

Deputy Chairman of the district People's Committee Bui Van Thang said the cracks and holes are now spreading.

"A total area of four hectares has been affected," Thang said.

According to the province's Science and Technology Department Deputy Director Bui Van Thang, the department inspected the area along with Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology researchers.

"Initial investigations revealed that the area has a soft soil foundation and its geological environment is not stable. Moreover, there is a coal mine near the affected area that was pumping out water at the time the land subsided, which suddenly affected the soft soil foundation and perhaps caused the land subsidence," Thang said.

The team plans to conduct further inspections and co-operate with local authorities to assist affected households, temporarily evacuating residents if needed. — VNS

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