Canal wall collapses swallowing 7 houses in southern Vietnam

By Gia Bach, Thanh Nien News

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Officials and rescue forces were dispatched in the coastal province of Ca Mau to assist the owners of seven homes which collapsed due to the rapid erosion of the banks of a canal on Saturday night.
No casualties were reported but the damage was estimated to cost more than VND1 billion (US$47,000) as the bank of the canal disappeared in the blink of an eye leaving the homeowners with nearly nothing.
A house which doubled as a bakery was said to bear half of the damage cost.
Coast Guard officials dispatched to assist the victims told VietNamNet news website that the houses were half on the ground and half above water.
“People were sleeping on the half on the ground so they were lucky they did not fall into water.”
Coast Guard officers were sent to help locals salvage their assets and dismantle precarious ruins.
Locals said they felt nothing strange before the bank collapsed.
Each affected family has been given between VND1.5 and 5.5 million (US$70-258).
At least two people in Ca Mau died under falling tree limbs in recent days, according to local flood and natural disasters units.
They reported that at least 63 houses collapsed and some 200 others were damaged, including having their roofs blown off.
Environmental experts said the exploitation of groundwater in the Mekong Delta provinces including the southernmost Ca Mau have exacerbated riverbank and coastline erosion, as well as exposed aquifirs to further salinization.

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