A serious landslide in the area along Giong canal – Kinh Lo river in Hiep Phuoc commune of Nha Be district occurred on June 27, seriously damaging five houses and forcing dozens of people to evacuate at night.
When reporters visited the site one week later, they saw walls which in pieces, torn corrugated iron roofs and cracks of tens of meters.
Huynh Thi Phai, 40, said as her family members slept, she heard a big noise from the riverbank. Phai and her neighbors escaped and saw the water ‘swallowing’ the houses.
Nguyen Van Day, 80, a neighbor of Phai, said the water blew off parts of the riverbank, but the landslide on June 27 was the most serious.
“No one imagined that the landslide would be so serious. There was no death toll, but people’s houses and assets all were swept away,” Day said.
According to Do Minh Toan, chair of Hiep Phuoc commune, locals have been warned about the danger. However, the evacuation of people and their resettlement has not been carried out because of complicated procedures.
“The landslide on June 27 was the most serious case. The asset damage is estimated at VND210 million,” he said.
“We have allocated a land plot for people in the stricken areas to move to. It is expected that 50 out of 200 households will move to the resettlement area by September,” he said.
Prior to that, on May 30, also in Nha Be district, a landslide occurred along Tom canal in Nhon Duc commune, threatening seven houses and affecting tens of households.
According to Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the HCMC Transport Department, there are still 40 ‘black spots’ at risk of landslide, of which 23 spots are in a ‘dangerous’ situation. The sites are mostly in the districts of 2, 7, 8, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, Nha Be, Binh Chanh and Can Gio.
Cuong said the municipal authorities have approved projects on building embankment at 39 out of 40 sites. Of these, the transport department will be responsible for 23 sites and districts’ authorities will be responsible for the remaining.
A local official said the projects to prevent landslides cannot be implemented quickly because of complicated procedures stipulated in the Public Investment Law.
The illegal sand exploitation on canals and the rivers of Sai Gon and Dong Nai remains uncontrolled, which is the major reason behind the increased erosion.