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Thousands in Ca Mau affected by subsidence

Over 20,000 households in Ca Mau are being threatened by erosion along with drought and saline intrusion.




Erosion in Tran Van Thoi District



Most of the 1,000 erosion spots are in Tran Van Thoi District. The damage may be as severe as when the district was hit by the El Nino phenomenon in 2016. The drought in 2016 was accompanied by saline intrusion and over 52,000ha of crops were damaged.

Over 52,400ha of shrimp farms were also ruined. The total damage reached VND200bn (USD8.6m). Ca Mau provincial authorities spent over VND80bn to support the farmers in 2016.

The freshwater area in Tran Van Thoi has closed nearly all sluice gates to prevent saline intrusion as of last October.

The farmers store water for crops by pumping water from the channels and canals so the water level in many channels and canals are dropping fast. Due to the loss of the water pressure, deep and long cracks have already appeared on the streets. It is predicted that it will worsen when the rainy season starts.

Le Thanh Huan, deputy director of Ca Mau Department of Transport, said, "If nothing is changed, erosion will happen all year-round instead of being exclusively during the drought season."

"Erosion is occurring right in front of my house. I can hardly travel. The water under the canal has dried up. I'm having difficulties in finding and buying water," said Nguyen Thanh Trieu in Tran Hoi Commune.

According to Huan, as the cracks on dry and hot streets worsen under heavy trucks, subsidence will go into the most destructive phase in the early part of the rainy season.

The best solution is to provide water to the local canals and channels but it is an impossible task. Huan said since they couldn't use the inland waterway, transporting construction materials would be difficult.

he local authorities and locals have used what they have at hand to fix the problem and put up warning signs. 

Lao Dong/Dtinews

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