20,000 people isolated after landslide hits central Vietnam highway

By Thach Thao, Hoang Tao   October 11, 2022 | 01:19 am PT
20,000 people isolated after landslide hits central Vietnam highway
A section of the DT 622 highway running through Quang Ngai Province is blocked due to erosion, October 11, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Dong Huyen
A total 20,000 people in central Vietnam's Quang Ngai Province have been isolated after a landslide cut off a highway and buried generators at a hydropower plant Tuesday.

Part of a hill got eroded, sending soil and rubble down the DT 622B highway section running through Tra Lam Commune of Tra Bong District on Tuesday morning, blocking traffic. As the route connects downtown Tra Bong with six other communes in the district, a blockage means 20,000 people got isolated.

Dang Minh Thao, secretary of Tra Bong District, said heavy rain on Monday caused erosion at a nearby hill, sending rubble down onto a group of generators at the Ka Tinh hydropower plant, rendering one worker missing. Authorities have deployed vehicles and dozens of soldiers to remove the rubble and restore traffic, he added.

Dang Vy Thuyen, director of the Ka Tinh hydropower plant, said contact with one worker was lost when the person conducted a final check-up on the generators Monday night. Five other workers at an office about 100 meters from the site of the erosion fortunately escaped. Rescue efforts are difficult due to heavy rain and landslides, he added.

The winter monsoon arrived in central Vietnam on Sunday night, triggering heavy rains in central provinces. Rains of up to 400 mm have been pouring in certain locations of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai, causing floods and erosion, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Floods have killed two people and rendered one missing in Quang Nam, according to the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

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