Vietnamese troll fined $550 for Facebook rumor about giant reservoir breach

By Vi Vu   September 12, 2017 | 09:00 pm PT
The post came shortly after a state of emergency was declared due to water spilling out of the reservoir.

Officials in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen have fined a man VND12.5 million ($550) for spreading false information about a major reservoir breach and causing public panic, local media reported.

Dao Xuan Hoa, 26, posted several images on his Facebook page saying that the Nui Coc Reservoir had breached and schools in the area had been closed, while asking people downstream to watch out for floods.

Hoa was arrested last month, and claimed he had just started the rumor to draw attention.

The irrigation reservoir, built between 1973 and 1982, is one of the largest of its kind in Vietnam, with a capacity of 100 million cubic meters, or 40,000 Olympic swimming pools.

A real breach would put tens of thousands of families in danger.

Many people were seriously concerned about the Facebook post as it came just two months after the province officially declared a state of emergency due to water spilling out of the reservoir.


Water permeates through part of the Nui Coc Reservoir in August 2017. Photo by VnExpress

Its statement said the safety of Nui Coc Reservoir “had been threatened”, prompting experts to call for the area to be evacuated.

The province has spent a reported VND47 billion (more than $2 million) to fix the problem by adding an extra waterproof layer.

No updates on the work have been revealed to local media.

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