Workers from Hòa Hiệp Ltd are trying to deal with the collapse at the Bara Đô Lương dam in Nghệ An Province. VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh
NGHỆ AN — Nearly 8,000 households in the northern province of Nghệ An’s Đô Lương Town are facing a shortage of water after a dam collapsed on Saturday.
Võ Đăng Dũng, head of Đô Lương Water Supply Station, said it has installed stations to pump water from Đào Canal for affected people.
“The water for the station was affected by the collapse of the Bara Đô Lương dam. The water level in the Đào Canal was as low as 2m, the lowest level recorded so far, causing serious water shortages for 7,800 households in seven communes and Đô Lương Town,” he told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
On Saturday morning, overflow spillway 10 and 11 at an old dam of Bara Đô Lương were broken, causing a lack of water flowing into the main canal, resulting in a 50-70 per cent drop in water for the North Nghệ An irrigation system. It also affected the water for 20,000ha of rice in Yên Thành, Quỳnh Lưu and Diễn Châu districts.
After the incident, provincial leaders arrived at the scene, directing Hợp Hiệp Ltd – the construction unit – to arrange facilities and manpower to solve the problem by June 11. The unit was also asked to complete upgrade work in two years instead of the three years as scheduled.
Phạm Đình Hạnh, director of the Hòa Hiệp Ltd, said the company has used cranes to drop rocks and concrete blocks in front of overflow spillway 10 and 11 in order to raise the water level, ensuring the water supply to the main canal.
Bara Đô Lương dam was built by France from 1930 to 1937, serving irrigation in the Nghệ An delta areas. The dam has 12 overflow spillways, each is 23m wide and has a 21m wide sand outlet. After more than 80 years of use, the dam has become seriously degraded.
Since 2018, Nghe An province has invested in building a new weir, replacing the old one with capital of more than VNĐ350 billion (US$15 million).
Once completed, the project will ensure stable irrigation for more than 28,000ha of agricultural land, creating a source of water for industry and daily life for four districts of Đô Lương, Yên Thành, Diễn Châu, Quỳnh Lưu and Hoàng Mai town.
The cause of the dam collapse is being investigated. — VNS