|High tides broke embankments in Bến Tre Province’s Chợ Lách District in the middle of this month, inundating seedling growing areas. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Thị Thu Hiền|
HCM CITY — Provinces in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta are taking measures to help households affected by heavy rains, strong winds, high tides and natural disasters this year.
Drought and saline intrusion have also caused damage to thousands of hectares of rice, vegetables and other crops in the delta, while heavy rains and winds have flattened thousands of houses and blown off roofs.
Võ Kim Thuần, head of the Long An Province’s Rural Development and Irrigation Sub-department, said natural disasters had caused property damage of VNĐ65 billion (US$2,800) in the province this year.
Lightning killed one person, and strong winds and whirlwinds flattened 17 houses and blew off the roofs of 212 houses in Long An. Saltwater intrusion and drought damaged nearly 2,800ha of rice.
Long An has had 30 erosion cases with a total length of 1,000 metres along rivers and canals this year, affecting 30 households.
The province has stepped up measures to protect dykes and irrigation works from natural disasters in order to secure the safety of property and lives of households.
It has also tightened inspections and penalties for violators of regulations protecting irrigation works, rivers and canals.
In Cà Mau Province, heavy rains inundated 20,980ha of rice and 267ha of vegetables and other crops, and flattened 18 houses and blew off the roof of 57 houses recently, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Its western sea dyke has five new eroded sections with a total of more than 5.8 kilometres.
Trần Văn Thời District was Cà Mau’s hardest hit district from rain inundation as it has 1,400ha of completely damaged rice and 8,500ha of rice damaged up to 80 per cent.
The district has more than 3,400ha of ripe summer – autumn rice which has not been harvested.
Lê Quân, chairman of the Cà Mau Province People’s Committee, has asked local authorities to survey damage to agricultural production and houses to help households recover their production and property.
The province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in co-operation with relevant departments and agencies will monitor weather and hydro-meteorology forecasting and establish plans to cope with natural disasters in each locality, he said.
Irrigation works, canals, dykes and embankments will be regularly checked and upgraded to cope with drought and saltwater intrusion.
Localities are expected to soon complete the harvest of the summer – autumn rice and finish sowing rice seeds for the current crop of a rice – shrimp farming model.
Kiên Giang Province, which is the country’s largest rice producer, will provide VNĐ540 million ($23,100) to help households repair houses damaged by natural disasters.
It has used VNĐ800 million ($34,200) from various sources to provide clean water for household use in An Minh District’s Đông Hòa Commune.
The Kiên Giang People’s Committee has assigned the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to drill bored wells to supply clean water for production and household daily use in Đông Hòa.
The delta’s provinces are also taking measures to protect crops and dykes from the damages of high tides.
In Bến Tre, high tides broke a 10m-dyke section in Chợ Lách District’s Thiền Liềng Commune, inundating more than 20ha producing seedlings of jackfruits and durian on Monday.
The Chợ Lách District Bureau Agriculture and Rural Development is compiling data on the damage caused by high tides on November 13 – 17 to have support measures for households.
In Sóc Trăng, high tides broke 50 embankments in Cù Lao Dung District on November 13 – 16, inundating 42 houses and 153ha of sugarcane, vegetables and fruits.
The district is repairing the eroded embankments.
Nguyễn Văn Đắc, head of the Cù Lao Dung Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the district has ordered local authorities in communes to use machines to upgrade dykes, embankments and other public works.
Cù Lao Dung earlier this year upgraded its dykes and embankments to control high tides, but the islet district was inundated more heavily than in previous years because of higher tides and other factors, according to local households. —– VNS