THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS) — Limestone mining is responsible for sinkholes that are destroying rice fields in Phong Xuan Commune, a senior official in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue said on Tuesday.
Nguyen Dinh Dau, director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, also said that they have informed commune residents about the condition and set up warning signs at places where the sinkholes have appeared.
The commune is located Phong Dien District.
The department has also given residents guidance in using plastic clay to fill up big sinkholes to prevent them from absorbing water and causing drought-like conditions for rice farmers.
The sinkholes, which have a diameter of 2-3 metres and depth of 1-3 metres, have been occurring in the commune's Dien Loc Village since December last year, puzzling and scaring residents.
They are located at a distance of 300-1,800m from the Dong Lam Cement Plant's limestone mine.
Water has been pouring continuously into the holes, draining neighbouring rice fields, Dau said.
He said the sinkholes were being caused by the collapse of caves in the limestone layer with a thin covering of soil. The draining of water to dry the mine is another factor, he added.
The Dong Lam Cement Plant, which is licensed to exploit the limestone mine, has been asked to carry out further geological studies in the area and come up with effective measures to deal with the sinkholes.
Officials have told the plant that it is responsible for reducing the number of sinkholes, preventing water shortages in areas neighbouring the mine, and minimising the volume of water that runs into the mine. — VNS