Erosion swallows five houses in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

By Cuu Long   May 21, 2018 | 02:20 am PT
Erosion swallows five houses in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Erosion washes away five houses along a river in Can Tho City in Vietnam's Mekong Delta on May 21, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
This riverside area in Can Tho City has been eroded thrice in the past month.

Five houses along a river in Can Tho City were washed away while another 14 partly collapsed on Monday morning as erosion continues to attack Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

The eroded area stretches 55 meters (180 feet) long and 10 meters wide along the O Mon River.

As locals rushed out of their houses in time, no cases of death or injuries have been reported, but the authorities said erosion now puts 15 other houses at risk of being washed away or collapsing.

During the past month, the disaster has happened three times along the river.

Can Tho irrigation authorities said in April that they had built an embankment to prevent erosion along the O Mon River since August last year and the project is still under construction.

In April last year, Dong Thap Province in the delta declared a state of emergency as the Tien River, a tributary of the Mekong, was threatening to engulf more than 200 houses.

The declaration of Dong Thap came just one week after erosion spread 50 meters inland along more than 160 meters along the Vam Nao River in the nearby An Giang Province, sending 16 houses into the river.

According to Vietnam's agriculture ministry, the Mekong Delta, the country's fruit and rice basket, loses 500 hectares of land to sea and river erosion every year.

It is estimated that by 2050, the lives of one million people in the delta will be directly affected by the catastrophe.

The Ministry of Construction last year submitted a proposal to the central government to build concrete barriers to protect 44,800 families in the region from serious river erosion.

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