Mysterious fine dust invades 1,000 homes in central Vietnam EZ

By Pham Linh   November 2, 2022 | 04:44 pm PT
Mysterious fine dust invades 1,000 homes in central Vietnam EZ
A person uses a broom to sweep layers of fine dust in a house in Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh
Fine, noxious dust of unknown origin invaded over 1,000 homes at the Dung Quat economic zone in Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam, leaving residents very worried.

Nguyen Cong Thanh, who lives in Binh Tri Commune, said the dust entered his home on the night of October 30, just before his family went to bed.

"The doors were closed, yet in the morning, I could see the dust on the floor. It has a putrid, unpleasant smell," Thanh said, adding that he has never seen such a phenomenon before.

Other locals said they tried to sweep the dust away in the same night, but it kept coming, covering the floor in just 30 minutes, and the layers kept thickening. The situation continued until the next morning, leaving people worried.

"Our family has two first graders and one kindergartener. In the past few days, whenever class ends, we make our children stay in their rooms (not letting them play outside)," said Ngo Van Dung, who lives in An Loc Nam Village.

The white, fine dust is also affecting the lives of hundreds of families living in neighboring Binh Hai Commune. Commune chairman Ngo Van Thing said the dust makes people nauseous when inhaled, so they suspect that some adverse event has occurred at factories in the Dung Quat economic zone.

On Wednesday, the Binh Son District People’s Committee carried out a field inspection in two communes where the dust had appeared and worked with representatives of three factories in the economic zone.

Nguyen Tuong Chuan, deputy head of the district’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, said while the fine dust is no longer showing up, its origin must still be investigated.

All representatives from the aforementioned factories said they were uninvolved in the phenomenon.

Authorities said the dust would be analyzed and have asked factories to allow inspection teams to enter their premises.

"Once the cause is identified, whichever factory caused the pollution would have to pay the inspection fees and take responsibility for their actions," Chuan said.

The Dung Quat economic zone, spanning 10,300 ha, has over 230 businesses, many of them in heavy industries.

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