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Mekong Delta reinforces dykes as water levels rise

Update: August, 17/2018 - 07:00
A farmer tries to save crops affected by flooding in Đồng Tháp Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Chương Đài
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY Provinces in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region are taking steps to protect households and crops from flooding as water levels are expected to rise quickly in the next few days, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Flooding is expected in low-lying areas, along riverbanks, and in areas located outside of dykes in An Giang, Đồng Tháp and Long An provinces, among others.

Bùi Thanh Liêm, head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Bến Tre Province’s Chợ Lách District, said that dykes would be reinforced to protect orchards, while areas with weak dykes would be monitored closely.

The district’s People’s Committee is working with agencies to issue warnings about landslide risks, while the province’s agriculture sector has instructed localities to watch weather conditions and tides so farmers can harvest crops unprotected by dyke systems. 

In Đồng Tháp Province, serious measures are being taken to combat rising floodwaters from upstream, and rice seeds are only being sown in areas with strong dykes.

Landslides are also a problem in the province, where 900 households are in urgent need of relocation but have nowhere to go, according to authorities.

The provincial People’s Committee has asked the Government to fund construction of 12 residential areas for these households at a total cost of VNĐ657 billion (US$28 million).

Nguyễn Trường Sơn, deputy head of the Office of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention, said localities had been instructed to provide the latest information about weather conditions to agencies and local residents. 

The highest water level recorded recently was 3.76m at Tân Châu Station on the Tiền River and 3.27m at Châu Đốc Station on the Hậu River on Wednesday.

By Sunday, the highest water level is expected to reach 3.8m at Tân Châu Station on Tiền River and 3.25m at Châu Đốc Station on Hậu River.

On August 15, high tidal waves occurred in Cần Thơ City for the third consecutive day, causing flooding on many streets, especially those along Hậu River.

Tidal waves this year in Cần Thơ occurred earlier than in previous years.

The situation is the same in Vĩnh Long where many inner roads have flooded due to high tides.

Huge losses

Thousands of hectares of rice and cash crops in An Giang Province are under water, causing huge losses to farmers, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

In Chợ Mới District, tornadoes and torrential rains have flooded 1,000ha of rice and cash crops in An Thạnh Trung, Hòa Bình and Hội An communes, damaging 75ha of rice and 40-60 per cent of cash crops.

Chợ Mới District is also facing unpredictable landslides, affecting the lives of thousands of farmers and households. 

Provincial authorities said 16 landslide spots exist in the district, with a total length of about 42.5km, affecting 1,000 households, the largest figure in the entire Mekong Delta. 

In Bạc Liêu, torrential rains and high floodwater levels have affected nearly 60,000ha of summer-autumn rice crops, reducing productivity by 20-30 per cent, causing huge losses to farmers.

As of the middle of August, more than 3,300ha of farm-raised shrimp had been damaged by natural disasters in Bạc Liêu, according to local authorities.

Ten houses and other public facilities like electricity posts have been seriously damaged in the province, causing losses of hundreds of millions of đồng. VNS

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