An Giang province has 51 riverside landslide spots

SGGP
The Mekong Delta province of An Giang has so far had 51 riverside sections where have been landslide or prone to landslide with the total length of 162 kilometers affecting 20,000 households.

Residents shelter in a pagoda in My Hoi Dong commune, Cho Moi district, An Giang after removing from landslide prone areas (Photo: SGGP)

Residents shelter in a pagoda in My Hoi Dong commune, Cho Moi district, An Giang after removing from landslide prone areas (Photo: SGGP)

That was reported by director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Dang Duc to Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha yesterday.
Minister Ha led a delegation to survey landslides in the province, work with local authorities to tackle the issue, visited and shared difficulties with households affected by the April 21 incident, in which 16 houses fell into the Vam Nao river and forced evacuation of hundreds of households, on April 25 and 26.
According to Mr. Duc, there are many reasons for the worsening landslide in the province such as flow changes, unusual weather, climate change and construction of riverside works. The province has applied many measures but been unable to completely tackle the issue in long term.
He attributed the landslide in My Hoi Dong commune on April 21 to natural disaster because the area has no sand mining.
At the meeting, secretary of the An Giang Party Committee Vo Thi Anh Xuan proposed the ministry to survey and overall estimate landslide in the province and the region to help local authorities improve prevention and handling abilities as well as have long term solutions to cope with the issue.
The ministry should propose the Government to have a mechanism assisting evacuation of 20,000 households out from dangerous areas in the next five years, Anh Xuan added.
Minister Tran Hong Ha said landslide in An Giang province is so complicated so there should have studies to address objective and subjective reasons and draw specific solutions.
Some solutions such as plan adjustment of residential areas should be carried out to avoid landslide damage, minimize activities contrary to the law of nature and rebalance stream flow in My Hoi Dong commune.
The ministry will instruct Vietnam Environment Administration to study environmental impact of river dredging and sand mining projects.
On the same day, Minister Ha visited and gave each of households whose houses have fell into the river VND5 million. The ministry has also decided to spend VND1 billion (US$44,000) from Environmental Protection Fund to support affected ones.
Landslide sufferings
Cracks send five more houses to remove
Local authorities have urgently removed five households to safety after cracks were visible in front their houses in Kien Thanh commune, Cho Moi district.
If landslide occurs, traffic will be cut off in intercommunal road Long Giang-Kien Thanh-Kien An.
Authorized agencies have blockaded the road, banned all types of trucks from plying there, organized a bypass for residents to travel through and assigned personnel to be on watch 24/7 to prevent damage for residents’ lives and properties.
So far 108 households have been forced to leave their homes for safety as cracks are likely to further landslide in My Hoi Dong commune, Cho Moi district.
They have temporarily lived in schools, pagodas and government agency headquarters.
“We have houses but they are uninhabitable. Now, we must temporarily live in other people's houses, being unclear that where we will go to,” said Mr. Le Phuoc Hoa.
“Less than two days after removing furniture, we must witness heartbreaking scene in which the earth moved, my house gradually collapsed. I just cried seeing the house sink into the river and lost sign of it,” said Mr. Vo Van Nhut.
The landslide has caused A My Hoi Dong primary school to shut down. Authorized agencies estimated that the school might have to remove also.
Ms. Le Thi Hanh whose child is the school’s student said she hoped authorized agencies and benefactors to help affected households stabilize accommodations so that their children can continue going to school.
Director of the An Giang province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Anh Thu said that the province has arranged five hectares of land to build 200 houses and expected that the central Government will soon approve funds to build the houses.
So far, financial assistance from the central budget and Cho Moi district to 58 households removing from landslide prone areas has totaled VND2.3 billion. Benefactors have given assistances in cash and in kind worth VND432 million.

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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