Experts call for evacuation plan as emergency declared for Vietnam's major reservoir

By Xuan Hoa   June 20, 2017 | 09:20 am GMT+7
Experts call for evacuation plan as emergency declared for Vietnam's major reservoir
Workers check the Nui Coc Reservoir. Photo by Vietnam News Agency

Water could be seen slowly seeping through the irrigation reservoir in the northern province of Thai Nguyen in recent days.

Thai Nguyen Province in northern Vietnam has declared a state of emergency after water permeated through some parts of a giant reservoir that holds 100 million cubic meters of water.

The province said in a recent statement that it was monitoring the situation, saying the safety of Nui Coc Reservoir "has been threatened."

The province is preparing to fix the problem by adding an extra waterproof layer. Work is expected to cost VND47 billion, or more than $2 million, and finish by August 20.

The news website of national broadcaster VTV on Monday warned that there's a risk of a collapse, considering the reservoir will receive a large amount of rainfall during the monsoon season. It says tens of thousands of families living in the area are in danger.

Experts at a meeting with the agriculture department on Monday urged the province to devise a plan for evacuation.

The irrigation reservoir of 25 square kilometers, one of the largest of its kind in Vietnam, was built between 1973 and 1982, with a capacity of 40,000 Olympic swimming pools combined.

It has been providing water to 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of agriculture land, mitigate flooding on the Cau, one of the biggest rivers in northern Vietnam.

It also serves tourism and fish farming.