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After storm, landslides threaten river-side residential areas

Update: August, 02/2018 - 17:00
A road in Kỳ Sơn District is split by a large crack. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÒA BÌNH — Landslides and cracks have appeared on Road 445 in Kỳ Sơn District in the northern province of Hòa Bình, threatening residential areas.

Kỳ Sơn District is located about 20km from Hòa Bình Hydropower Plant - the largest hydropower dam in Southeast Asia.

Vice Chairman of the district People’s Committee Hoàng Văn Minh said that 15 houses along the road were vulnerable to land erosion and collapse.

The committee helped evacuate residents to safer areas and blocked traffic on the road, he said.

Torrential rains since middle last month after Sơn Tinh storm plus high volume of water released from Hòa Bình Hydropower Plant have make the downstream area of Đà River including Kỳ Sơn District and Hòa Bình City got flooded and land erosion.

Since July 30, nine houses in Đồng Tiến Ward, Hòa Bình City in the same province completely collapsed into Đà River, ten other houses half-collapsed, nine houses had cracks on walls/floors.

Thirsty-five families in the area moved out of their houses.

In central province of Nghệ An, 22 families living along Hiếu River in Châu Tiến Commune, Quỳ Châu District are in fear that their houses could collapse and fall down the river anytime.

The landslide-prone area had a length of about 800m and created curve of 10m into ground. In some locations, the landslides are only 30m away from the National Highway 48.

On July 27, two river-side houses in the commune’s Minh Tiến Hamlet were damaged partly due to landslide.

The commune People’s Committee Vice Chairman Lương Trung Khay said as soon as the landslide occurred, authorised agencies helped local residents leave the dangerous areas.

The commune also asked for relevant agencies to detect causes of the landslides and find solutions to fix the aftermath.

Local residents blamed the near hydropower plant for the landslide as it released water from its reservoir.

A local resident Nguyễn Thị Lục in Minh Tiến Hamlet said that her family lived there for decades but had never seen landslide until the Châu Thắng Hydropower Plant started operation in May, 2017.

“Whenever the plant releases water, we see landslides along the river,” she said.

Director of the plant Hồ Ngọc Thiết told the Vietnam News Agency that if there was any scientific evidence showing that the water it had released caused the landslides, the plant would take responsibility.

Torrential rains over the last two weeks has also been blamed for flooding in parts of Hà Nội including Chương Mỹ and Quốc Oai districts.

The floods are expected to recede in the next 10-15 days, but over 800 families in Chương Mỹ District are struggling to deal with the general chaos and power cuts caused by the floods.

Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN)’s Hà Nội branch said that it had cut power supplies to Chương Mỹ and Quốc Oai for safety reasons.

However, it is continuing to power pumping stations in the two districts to ease the flooding. — VNS

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