Second Vietnam province declares state of emergency over drought

By An Minh   April 16, 2024 | 12:01 am PT
Second Vietnam province declares state of emergency over drought
A canal in Tran Van Thoi District of Ca Mau Province runs dry, April 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Tung
Vietnam's southernmost province Ca Mau has announced an emergency drought situation in Tran Van Thoi and U Minh districts to immediately deploy response measures.

This is the second locality in Vietnam and the Mekong Delta, after Tien Giang Province, to declare an emergency situation in this year's dry season.

A prolonged heatwave has caused more than 2,600 families in Ca Mau to lack domestic water, as well as land subsidence and erosion.

Since the beginning of the dry season, which typically starts in late November and reaches its peak around this time of the year in southern Vietnam, Tran Van Thoi District has experienced more than 600 points of erosions and land subsidence that measured nearly 16 km, causing an estimated damage of over VND20 billion (US$790,000).

The two districts of Tran Van Thoi and U Minh are deploying several solutions on water supply and storage for their people, including providing containers, water treatment chemicals, and transport water from other localities.

The key target is now to guarantee that local people will not suffer severe water shortage in daily use.

Relevant departments and localities are required to review traffic routes, canals, and streams at risk of erosion and subsidence to warn and have timely solutions to minimize damage.

It is projected that the drought will last until the end of this month, and rainstorms marking the transition to the rainy season will not appear until early in May.

So far, the salt intrusion level in the delta region has been higher than the multi-year average, but not as severe as in 2016 and 2020.

2016 saw the most severe impact in 100 years, with 160,000 hectares of land affected by salinization, causing damage of over VND5.5 trillion for the entire region. At the time, 10 out of 13 localities in the delta declared a state of emergency.

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