Ancient limestone caves in Ha Long Bay suffer damage

By VnExpress   November 17, 2016 | 06:40 pm PT
Ancient limestone caves in Ha Long Bay suffer damage
Illegal excavation in limestone caves was rampant before 1995. Photo by VnExpress
Local authorities blame tectonic movements, but cannot rule out theft yet.

Some ancient limestone caves in Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site visited by millions of tourists each year, have been damaged, local officials said.

Tourists to Cap La, one of the caves, said they found some stalactites broken off with many broken pieces on the ground. The cave, believed to be thousands of years old, is famous for these stalactites of various shapes and sizes.

It is not immediately clear if this is manmade or by nature.

Stalactite theft was rampant before 1995, said Pham Dinh Huynh, deputy head of Ha Long Bay’s Management Board, adding that since then security guards have managed to prevent such an act.

“We are closely monitoring more than 60 caves,” said Huynh.

He believed the damage was caused by tectonic movements, but said that further investigation is needed.

“We need experts to determine whether the stalactites have been deliberately cut off,” he said.

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