South­ern res­i­dents scramble to pre­vent land­slides

Viet Nam News - - ENVIRONMENT -

CAÀN THÔ — Res­i­dents liv­ing along­side a river in Canà Thô City have put co­conut trunks around an area wrecked by land­slides dur­ing the past month to pro­tect their houses.

Seven land­slides hit the city’s O Monâ Dis­trict since the be­gin­ning of the year, two of them along the banks of the O Monâ River, due to high tides.

The lat­est one oc­curred on May 10 near the Racï h Vamø Wharf, on a stretch of river bank in Thôùi An Ward, tear­ing 15 me­tres of road apart and dam­ag­ing a lo­cal house, which was then dis­man­tled for safety rea­sons.

The same spot was hit by a prior land­slide just three days be­fore the in­ci­dent, and pulled a house of a lo­cal res­i­dent down into the river, and dam­aged 16 other houses. Res­i­dents in two of these houses have been evac­u­ated while the other 14 are on the verge of col­laps­ing.

Due to the emer­gency, lo­cal res­i­dents bought co­conut trunks with their own money and placed them in the river to make a tem­po­rary em­bank­ment that shields the spot from high tides, said res­i­dent Tranà Thanh Vi­etä .

“We have to do it our­selves while we wait for solutions from the au­thor­i­ties,” he said. “The dam­age would be un­think­able should land­slides oc­cur again.”

They were able to buy enough co­conut trunks af­ter three days, at the to­tal cost of VNÑ20 mil­lion ($878), he added. “The spot is pro­tected, for now.”

Hav­ing been aware of the sit­u­a­tion, Leâ Vi­etä Só, chair­man of the Peo­ple’s Com­mit­tee of O Monâ Dis­trict, said that due to lim­ited man­power, all efforts to pre­vent land­slides in the dis­trict can only work on a tem­po­rary ba­sis.

“We have also asked the city’s Steer­ing Com­mit­tee for Dis­as­ter Preven­tion and Search and Res­cue, as well as the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, for fur­ther in­struc­tions and solutions re­gard­ing the land­slides,” he said.

An em­bank­ment is be­ing built along­side the OÂ Monâ River, cost­ing VNÑ416 bil­lion ($18.3 mil­lion). The con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be com­pleted by Au­gust next year. It was also hit by a land­slide on April 6, which dam­aged three ad­ja­cent houses.

Ac­cord­ing­toNguyenã QuyùNinh, deputy chief of the Of­fice of Canà Thô City’s Steer­ing Com­mit­tee for Flood and Storm Con­trol, sea­sonal tran­si­tions are peak time for land­slides to oc­cur all over the city.

“We have asked the steer­ing com­mit­tees of all dis­tricts to form in­spec­tion teams to eval­u­ate the dam­ages caused by the land­slides and pro­pose pre­ven­tive mea­sures,” he said.

The city’s au­thor­i­ties are plan­ning dif­fer­ent mea­sures, es­pe­cially ones that don’t in­volve con­struc­tion, in an ef­fort to save money. — VNS

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