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Residents in Lai Chau threatened by landslide

Update: September, 22/2015 - 09:42
Dyke system that has been seriously broken, threatens residents living in the resettlement quarter in Nam Khao Commune, Muong Te District of the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau. — Photo

LAI CHAU (VNS) — Residents living in the resettlement quarter in Nam Khao Commune, Muong Te District in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau have faced high risk of landslide during the past two years, according to local authorities.

To have space to build the Lai Chau hydroelectric plant, residents living in the needed area of the plant were moved to a higher place and set up a resettlement quarter. But now they are living in dangerous conditions caused by landslides.

Chang A Han, deputy secretary of the Nam Khao Commune, said that at present 13 households were in high risk. The commune's junior secondary school also had some long cracks.

Moved to the resettlement quarter in April last year, Le Thi Hue built a strong house with funds of about VND700 million (US$31,100).

But during the past two years, her family lived in worry because the house faced risk of being swept away by mud and soil.

Hue said that whenever it rained, soil behind her house had erosion and she must take her children to another place for sleeping as they did not dare to sleep in their house.

Observation by the Vietnam News Agency's correspondent showed that Hue's house is now leaning. Its foundation and walls had a number of cracks, and some of them were like gutters.

Many other houses also were in dangerous conditions.

Nguyen Xuan Truong, deputy chairman of the Muong Te People's Committee, said that since last year, the district had conducted technological measures to improve the landslide condition.

The reason of the landslide was because of underground water. To improve it completely, at least VND20 billion ($888,800) was needed and the district did not have enough funds, he said.

In the short term, the district assigned as many as 20 workers to be on duty at hot spots of landslides. When it rains heavily, residents would be moved to safer places including schools and villages' cultural houses. — VNS

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