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Hải Dương sand mining heightens risk of landslides

Update: February, 08/2017 - 14:00
Landslides have reduced the cultivation land of farmers in Minh Tân Commune. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Minh
Viet Nam News

HẢI DƯƠNG — Thousands of households living along Thái Bình dyke, one of the most critical dykes in the north, are prone to landslides, vietnamplus.vn reported.

The landslides have resulted from illegal sand mining in Nam Sách District in northern Hải Dương Province. Landslides have also reportedly damaged a large tract of agricultural land.

According to Hải Dương Province’s flood, storm control and dyke management department, landslides take place along a 108-metre length of the Thái Bình river bank that runs through Minh Tân Commune, and could change the water current.

Landslides have eaten five to 10 metres of space near the river bank and the river has come nearer the dykes. Đặng Văn Mệnh, head of Hùng Thắng Hamlet of Minh Tân Commune, said the distance from the dyke to the river used to be 50 to 250 metres, but now, after the landslides, it has reduced to 20 to 100 metres.

Despite resident vigilance, sand dredging boats continue to operate in the area after dark, from 7pm to 11pm or around 3am to 4am every day, he said.

Mệnh said that since early last year he has lost more than 3,600sq.m of agricultural land because of landslides. The commune has lost dozens of hectares of agricultural land.

A season of carrots or corns cultivated on a 360sq.m plot brings around VNĐ10 million (US$445) per year. Because of the landslides, farming households have lost millions of đồng each year.

Nguyễn Đức Tuyển, chairman of Minh Tân Commune’s People’s Committee, said local authorities have worked with concerned agencies to catch the illegal sand miners, but that the crackdown has failed due to lack of equipment and human resources. Sand miners have so far managed to escape, and even threaten them with knives and swords, Tuyển said.

Posting officers at the river bank to deal with violators is only a temporary solution, local authorities said. — VNS



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