$30 million sought to protect Vietnam’s Cua Dai beach from erosion

By Nguyen Quy   January 18, 2019 | 12:30 am PT
$30 million sought to protect Vietnam’s Cua Dai beach from erosion
Tourists sit on sacks of sand placed to protect Cua Dai beach in Hoi An from erosion. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam has proposed a $30.2 million project to safeguard Cua Dai from coastal erosion.

Dinh Van Thu, chairman of Quang Nam Province, has submitted a VND700 billion ($30.2 million) request to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for implementing a project to fight severe erosion at Cua Dai beach, considered as a valuable tourism resource for the ancient town Hoi An.

Since 2014, strong waves and tropical storms have caused severe erosion on Cua Dai beach, forcing its closure for three years.

The beach opened again in 2017.

Waves have washed over a concrete barrier, which is five meters high and 70 meters long, and encroached an additional 160 meters inland. The waves have washed away many seaside resorts, and severely damaged the three kilometer plus long beach.

Earlier, local authorities spent around VND70 billion ($3.08 million) building a new embankment, installing iron pilings and pumping sand into the area to revive Cua Dai.

However, several tropical storms last year worsened the situation and authorities are scrambling to save the beach from being wiped out.

The erosion has scared many tourists and hurt the local economy.

At a recent meeting with provincial leaders, experts from the Netherlands suggested building some artificial islands off the Cua Dai coast to shield it from strong waves and winds. The project should use private funding, the experts advised.

However, local authorities said the project needs to be considered carefully because of security concerns. The construction of artificial islands will affect the UNESCO-recognized Cu Lao Cham Marine Park.

A joint report by the United Nations Environment Program, UNESCO and the Union of Concerned Scientists recently warned that Hoi An is among the world’s heritage sites at risk from climate changes.

Much of Hoi An is at or less than two meters above sea level, making it vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm surges, the report said.

Video below shows tourists coming back to Cua Dai in 2017, after efforts to conserve its coastline.

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