Authorities have pledged to find the causes of a land collapse close to the red mud reservoir of Nhan Co Alumina Factory in Dak R’lap District of the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
|The land that collapsed close to Nhan Co Alumina Factory in Quang Binh Village of Dak R’lap District in Dak Lak Province. VNA/VNS Ngoc Minh|
Local offices and Dak Nong Aluminum Company, which owns the factory, were asked to find causes of land collapse, said Le Mai Toan, vice Chairman of Dak R’lap District People’s Committee.
“If the collapse was caused by the reservoir, the company must compensate for loss of land and trees to local people,” said Toan.
“Besides, the district will set up a plan of retreating the areas of collapsed lands and nearby areas which were at high risk to ensure safety for local people’s lives and the company’s operation,” he added.
Previously, people of the district’s Quang Binh Village sent complaints to authorities about a land collapse nearby the factory’s red mud reservoir.
The land collapse, which started from the beginning of the rainy season in May, has become more serious after prolonged flood and rains from August 8 to 12.
Tran Thi Hoa, a resident of Quang Binh Village, said her thousands of square metres of land with hundreds of coffee and pepper trees had collapsed, forcing her family to stop farming.
Nguyen Tan Chung, one of the worst-affected people, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that “after one night, over 500 sq.m of coffee and peppers were buried 1m deep."
“In the last two years, coffee and pepper prices have fallen. My family had to invest hundreds of millions of dong into the farm,” said Chung.
“Now, the trees are gone when they were ready for harvest,” he said.
According to the farmers, the main cause was prolonged rains from the beginning of August which swept away soil.
But in previous years, such heavy rains did not make land collapse like this year, Chung said.
“Since starting the ore screening operation, the factory dug a canal near my farmland, then the incident happened,” he said.
The farmers have written to the People’s Committee in Dak R’lap and Dak Nong Alumina Company complaining about the problem.
Hoa’s family wished authorities would soon find the cause of the incident and wanted the company to compensate her family so they could move elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the company has pledged to work with agencies to find the cause of land collapse.
According to a representative of the firm, the canal aims to stop water intrusion into the reservoir.
The company is willing to pay compensation to the farmers if the land collapse was caused by the canal.
“Whether the landslide was caused by the flood or the canal will be determined by the authorities soon. If it was caused by the canal, it means it was the factory’s fault and we are willing to compensate the losses of the farmers immediately,” he said.