Households evacuated in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta amid rising erosion risk

By Phuc Hung   June 16, 2018 | 10:40 pm PT
Households evacuated in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta amid rising erosion risk
Cracks are found on the ground in Dat Mui Town, Ca Mau Province. Photo by VnExpress/Phuc Hung
Just five days earlier, land erosion in Ca Mau Province sank three houses and badly damaged another.

The danger of their houses sinking or being damaged by land erosion has prompted the emergency evacuation of five households in a hamlet in Ca Mau, the southernmost province in Vietnam.

Vo Cong Truong, chairman of Dat Mui Town, said that several cracks on the ground in Lach Vam Hamlet alerted authorities to the imminent danger of land erosion that could topple houses into the nearby river.

“We have evacuated five households in high-risk areas to safety,” Truong said.

Land erosion has become a frequent occurrence in many coastal and riverine provinces over the last decade. Scores of houses have been lost.

“On Friday, another house in Khai Long Hamlet was lost to land erosion,” Truong said.

Earlier, on Tuesday, three houses in Dat Mui sank and one other was damaged, with the damage estimated at VND4 billion ($178,000).

“Several days before, we noticed 20-meter-long cracks in the area,” said Tran Van Ben, a local resident.

Last month, five houses along a river in Can Tho City were washed away while another 14 collapsed partially as erosion continues to plague the Mekong Delta.

The eroded area along the O Mon River in Can Tho was 55 meters (180 feet) long and 10 meters wide.

According to the agriculture ministry, the Mekong Delta, the country's fruit and rice basket, is losing 500 hectares of land to sea and rivers each year.

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

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

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