Thanh Hoa canal rupture blamed on ‘complex’ soil structure

By Le Hoang   December 30, 2020 | 06:36 pm PT
Thanh Hoa canal rupture blamed on ‘complex’ soil structure
The aftermath following the rupture of the Chu River-Ma River canal in Thanh Hoa Province, December 27, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Le Hoang.
The canal bank breach in Thanh Hoa Province last Sunday was caused by inconsistent soil structure, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

A 70 m section of the Chu River-Ma River Canal, built in 2013 at a cost of VND4.3 trillion ($186.4 million), ruptured at around 9:45 a.m., discharging around 150,000 cubic meters of water and sweeping away 20,000 cubic meters of soil.

There were no human casualties, but over 30 families and around four hectares of fish ponds and crops in Phung Minh Commune were affected.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the canal was built six or seven meters high on a layer of rocks with complex slopes. The soil underneath the canal subsided and caused the rupture, it said.

Le Duc Giang, deputy chairman of the Thanh Hoa People’s Committee, said on Tuesday: "There was water leakage. When the unit managing the canal closed off the water flow, it created pressure which caused the rupture."

The ministry has instructed the Management Board for Irrigation Investment and Construction 3, which operates the canal, to carry out repairs to provide farmers with water for their next harvest season.

The board is also responsible for coordinating with local authorities to compensate people affected by the flooding.

In the long run authorities should appraise the entire canal structure to identify potential problems and fix them to preclude further accidents, it said.

The Chu River-Ma River canal, which runs over 370 kilometers, draws water from two lakes in Thuong Xuan District to irrigate over 31,000 hectares of agricultural land and supply water to households in several districts in Thanh Hoa like Tho Xuan, Yen Dinh, Thieu Hoa, Ngoc Lac, and Thuong Xuan.

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