Huge Central Highlands reservoir at risk of breaking and flooding

By Tran Hoa   August 7, 2023 | 02:40 am PT
Huge Central Highlands reservoir at risk of breaking and flooding
Aerial view of the Dak N’Ting reservoir in Dak Nong. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Oanh
A dam containing 1.2 million cubic meters of water, a volume equivalent to 480 Olympic-size swimming pools, in Dak Nong Province has showed signs of cracks following days of heavy rain.

Le Dinh Tuan, chairman of the Quang Son Commune People’s Committee, said the cracks, signs of erosion and sinking began to show around the Dak N’Ting reservoir in Dak G’long District in the Central Highlands province on August 1.

By Monday, the cracks on the foot of the dam spanned around 500 m and were around 150 m deep, and showed no signs of abating.

On the right side of the dam, around 10 ha of crops are sinking. An estimated 1 million cubic meters of soil has risk of landslides. The dam itself also has large cracks spanning 10-20 cm.

The Dak N’Ting reservoir project cost around VND137 billion ($5.78 million), was built to irrigate around 700 ha of crops in Quang Son Commune.

To ensure safety, authorities have blocked entrances into the dam area and evacuated 34 families with around 100 people.

"If the dam breaks, the water level downstream would rise by about 2 m, so we are performing checks to evacuate 140 families in Dak N’Ting," Tuan said.

Tran Nam Thuan, chairman of the Dak Glong District People’s Committee, said the cracks on the dam had widened compared. If it rains for another week, the risk of dam breakage would be very high, he added.

"The locality has devised plans to respond to potential scenarios where the dam breaks," Thuan said, adding that the floodgates have been opened to drain the water away from the reservoir.

Since the end of July, Dak Nong has constantly been seeing rain and erosion in, including in and around National Highway 14, Quang Truc Commune and Dak N’Drung.

Recent floods have killed two people and forced over 110 families to be evacuated. 147 houses, 646 ha of crops and 215 ha of ponds for aquaculture were also flooded, according to the Dak Nong National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention.

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