Landslides in Mekong Delta increasingly serious
Coastal erosion, river bank erosion and landslides have become more serious, and are considered disasters because they have such severe impacts on the livelihoods of residents in the region.
Furthermore, coastal and riverbank erosion is responsible for the annual loss of many infrastructures such as roads, houses, and land in the Mekong Delta as well as threatening production.
It is the dry season, but many households living along the coast from Bo De estuary to Hoc Nang in Ca Mau Province’s Ngoc Hien District are still living in a constant state of anxiety, especially the days of the full moon and the thirties according to the lunar calendar.
Local resident Nguyen Phuoc Len whose house is located in the landslide area explained that because the weather in the dry season this year has many irregularities with high tides; therefore, when the wind is strong, big waves crash on the shore, causing landslides of all houses.
Ms. Quach Thi Minh, Chairwoman of Tam Giang Tay Commune People's Committee, said that since the beginning of the year, coastal erosion in the area has occurred a lot.
Currently, dozens of households living on the beach are facing many difficulties, even some households’ shrimp ponds were washed away in a landslide; subsequently, they had to leave the locality to work elsewhere.
According to statistics, Ca Mau has many landslide areas with a length of about 132km (about 87km on the East coast, about 45km on the West coast) and a severe erosion area with a length of about 67km.
Similarly, many households living behind the East Sea dyke in Bac Lieu Province’s Vinh Trach Dong commune, Bac Lieu City are also worried because the sea dyke in front of their houses is very fragile.
According to local people, the high tide combined with strong waves and strong winds directly hit the dyke body, causing landslides of the dyke roof and body with a length of about 46m.
Meanwhile, in front of the dyke, the protective forest has completely disappeared, so when the tide rises, the strong wind creates big waves that cause seawater to overflow through the dyke into production areas and people's houses in the fields.
Inhabitants on the banks of the Mo Cay river in Mo Cay town of Mo Cay Nam District in Ben Tre Province said that they have been fretting because about 680m of the river bank has been eroded.
The landslide creates a dangerous deep hole, which penetrates into the mainland from 3-5m, threatening people’s lives.
In Chau Thanh District of Hau Giang Province, in the last days of March, there were two serious landslides including the 30-m landslide at the bank of the Mai Dam canal in Dong Phuoc Commune which cut off roads in the area.
A 30-m landslide in Phu Huu Commune in Chau Thanh District occurred collapsing a 7-m long road. Administrations in Chau Thanh District have mobilized militias, police and local inhabitants to fix the road.
From the beginning of 2023 up to now, there have been 8 landslides in Hau Giang Province with a total of nearly 150m in length; as a result, more than 700 square meters of land disappeared.
In Tien Giang province, in March 2023, a section of the East bank of Tra Lot River nearly 50m long was completely eroded into the river. Landslides have cut off the road in Hoa Quy hamlet, Hoa Khanh Commune, Cai Be District. The river bank was eroded close to the road and showed no sign of stoppage.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cai Be district, the locality has recorded 62 large and small landslide spots, with a length of over 2,100m.
Over VND27 billion is estimated to be used for fixing the infrastructure. In addition, Tan Phong island in Cai Lay District, Tan Long island in My Tho City, Xuan Dong Commune in Cho Gao District also continuously suffered from landslides, affecting the lives and activities of people.
Facing the increasingly serious situation of riverbank and sea dyke erosion, governments in the Mekong Delta provinces are looking for solutions to protect coastal protection forests, infrastructure and residential areas.
Mr. Nguyen Minh Canh, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee Ben Tre Province, also said that the provincial People's Committee has made a decision to announce an emergency situation on the banks of the Mo Cay river.
Local authorities and specialized agencies have hurried up to evacuate people and properties from the dangerous landslide area.
According to Chairman of Tien Giang Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Van Vinh, the locality continues to mobilize financial resources and come up with solutions to mitigate natural disasters.
However, due to the limited local budget, it has not been able to meet the demand; the province needs support from the central government.
The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control reported that the Mekong Delta currently has nearly 800 landslide areas with a total length of nearly 1,000km.
According to preliminary statistics in provinces and cities such as An Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Ca Mau, nearly 20,000 households living in landslide-prone areas need to be relocated.