Facebook flood rumor lands Vietnamese man in hot water with police

By Pham Du   August 30, 2017 | 12:48 am PT
Facebook flood rumor lands Vietnamese man in hot water with police
Water spreads through Nui Co Reservoir in Thai Nguyen Province. Photo by VnExpress
Panicked locals were unsure whether they were going to be hit by a tidal wave at any moment.

Police in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen have arrested a man for spreading a rumor on Facebook last Friday that a giant reservoir that holds 100 million cubic meters of water had been breached.

Dao Xuan Hoa’s post said that schools had allowed students to stay at home due to the situation at Nui Coc Reservoir, and that locals should brace themselves for severe floods.

“I’m not here for Likes. Just want to spread the news to warn you!” read the post.

Hoa admitted to his wrongdoing and police are looking at options to deal with him.

The post fueled widespread confusion in Thai Nguyen, which is still recovering from a state of emergency that was declared just two months ago after water started spilling from the Nui Coc Reservoir.

The province said in a statement in June that the problem was being fixed.

If the reservoir was breached, the cities of Thai Nguyen and Song Cong would be under water, said Nguyen Van Thinh, director of a local company in charge of operating the reservoir.

The irrigation reservoir of 25 square kilometers, one of the largest of its kind in Vietnam, was built between 1973 and 1982, and has a capacity of 40,000 Olympic swimming pools.

It provides water for 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of farm land and helps to stem flooding on the Cau River, one of the biggest in northern Vietnam.

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