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Mekong Delta province declares coastal erosion emergency

By An Minh   July 20, 2022 | 10:31 pm PT
Mekong Delta province declares coastal erosion emergency
A section of the embankment on Ca Mau Province's western coast is eroded by strong waves, July 2022. Photo by VnExpress/An Minh
The southernmost province of Ca Mau has announced a state of emergency following the erosion of 2.7 km (1.67 miles) of coastal embankment.

The declaration came Wednesday with five dike sections along its western coast in Tran Van Thoi and U Minh districts on the verge of collapsing due to the impact of waves.

According to local authorities, protective forests in those sections have either disappeared or shrunk.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is standing by with vehicles and personnel if required for rescue missions and evacuating and relocating people out of dangerously eroded areas.

Ca Mau has a total coastline of over 250 km.

The western embankment stretches 108 km and protects more than 90,000 hectares of farmlands and 26,000 households, but has been constantly threatened by erosion for years.

The department said in a report last month that coastal erosion is destroying up to 400 ha of protective forests each year and threatening 120,000 ha of agricultural lands.

Some 189 km of coastline is suffering from "severe erosion," it added.

According to official data, between 2015 and 2021 Ca Mau lost 2,100 hectares of coastal protective forests, and the figure is on a rising trend since some urgent projects have not been implemented in time due to a lack of resources.

The province is known for its fisheries and aquaculture, especially farming of prawns, of which it is a major exporter.

It is now the storm season in southern Vietnam, and this month alone strong winds have destroyed 177 houses and blown away the roofs of 1,270 others.

Storms and high tides have damaged 2,000 hectares of rice and nearly 300 hectares of shrimp farms, according to the province’s Committee for Disaster Prevention.

 
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