Traffic paralyzed in northern Vietnam due to eroded highways

By Anh Duy   August 7, 2023 | 02:28 am PT
Traffic paralyzed in northern Vietnam due to eroded highways
A section of National Highway 279 through Son La Province is eroded, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Linh
Several national highways running through mountainous areas of northern Vietnam have been eroded over the past few days following heavy rains, cutting off traffic.

The National Highway 32, spanning over 380 km and running through Yen Bai’s Mu Cang Chai District, has around 100 eroded spots. The route is a vital one connecting Hanoi with Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lai Chau Provinces.

Due to rains and floods in recent days, a 9-km section through Mu Cang Chai District, a tourist destination in Yen Bai, saw rocks and rubbles barreling down onto it from the mountains.

By Sunday afternoon, the Road Construction No. 1 company said it has deployed equipment to clear out a 4-km section of the road. On the other 5-km section, there were still around 100 eroded spots.

Another vital route connecting 10 mountainous localities in the north, National Highway 279, was also eroded over a 300-m section in Muong La District of Son La Province. The Son La Department of Transport and the road’s management unit has put up warning signs and instructed vehicles not to enter damaged sections. Traffic on the highway is expected to be restored on August 12.

Besides the two highways, rains and floods have also triggered landslides and congestion on other roads, including sections of National Highway 4H and Lai Chau's provincial road 129.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention said heavy rains in northern Vietnam, triggered by low-pressure areas, have caused floods and landslides that killed eight people in Lai Chau, Yen Bai, Thai Nguyen and Son La provinces. 24 houses have collapsed and 128 others were damaged.

The rains are expected to last until the end of Tuesday, meteorological agencies said.

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