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Survey shows mountainous provinces face landslide risk

Update: August, 08/2014 - 08:28
A landslide-hit road is cleared for traffic in Lai Chau Province. A recent survey carried out by the Viet Nam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources has shown that many north-western mountainous provinces were at risk from landslides. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Duy

HA NOI (VNS) — Many northwestern mountainous provinces were at risk from landslides, according to a recent survey carried out by the Viet Nam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources.

The initial survey was conducted in 10 mountainous provinces, and found that up to 35 per cent of the land, particularly in Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La, Yen Bai and Nghe An, was vulnerable to landslides during the rainy season.

Son La is in the worst state, with more than 1,600 points of potential landslides, 58 points of possible floods and 38 points of possible river bank erosion.

The survey is part of a plan to investigate, assess and zone landslide-prone areas in the mountainous regions of Viet Nam from 2012 to 2020.

The plan, targeting 37 high risk localities, aims to provide data for socio-economic development and relocation planning for residents living in areas prone to landslides.

Mountainous provinces are currently hurrying to relocate those people as the rainy season approaches.

During a teleconference on Wednesday, Chairman of Lao Cai's People's Committee Doan Van Huong asked localities to complete their work by August 15 at the latest.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that 266 households, mainly in the districts of Bac Ha, Bat Xat, Muong Khuong, Bao Yen, and Sa Pa, needed to be moved to safe locations.

As of July, the province had relocated 134 households to safe areas.

The department would continue to raise public awareness to help locals understand the importance of the resettlement work, he said.

In the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh, 7,146 households living in areas vulnerable to natural disasters, concentrated in the districts of Lac Thuy, Da Bac, Yen Thuy and Lac Son, are in desperate need of relocation.

Local authorities are keeping a close watch on weather patterns as well as landslide signals in order to alert residents when they need to take safety precautions. — VNS

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