In Vietnam, thrill-seekers risk life and limb to catch breathtaking shots of Southeast Asia’s largest dam

By Giang Huy   July 19, 2017 | 10:42 pm PT
The giant dam released water for the first time in three years, and the warning signs were not enough to put some people off.

Hoa Binh Hydropower Dam in the namesake northern province discharged water on Wednesday morning for the first time in three years following heavy downpours that left water levels nearly five meters above the limit. The peak of the monsoon season is yet to come.


Around 2,400 cubic meters of water, enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool, came rushing out every second. The dam is 128 meters (420 feet) high and 970 meters long, making it the largest in Southeast Asia.


Authorities put up warning signs prohibiting entry to the area, but curiosity got the better of some people.


Many stood by the raging release gate.


To them, it was a stunning scene worth recording.


Parents and children stood next to the rough water further downstream.


Two men challenged the strong current hoping for a catch.


Another man decided this was far enough.


Hanoi and nearby provinces were warned to prepare for rising waters in downstream areas.


The discharge could damage the banks of the Red River, and water levels in Hanoi will rise by eight meters, still below the danger level of 9.5 meters.

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