Disastorous dam causes death and destruction in Lam Dong

TN News

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Two people were killed in the Central Highlands' Lam Dong Province Thursday night after a boat carrying three capsized while travelling along a flooded section of national highway.

The deaths include a 53-year-old and his niece, 32. As of Friday evening, their bodies remained missing.

The victims were transporting a visitor from Dak Nong Province, who managed to swim to a nearby riverbank and was saved Friday morning.

Stored water at the Dong Nai No.3 hydropower plant, funded by Electricity of Vietnam and managed by the Lam Dong government, has flooded around 15 kilometers of National Highway No.28 connecting Lam Dong and Dak Nong.

Locals face grave danger as they navigate the area. The new road, which was supposed to replace the flooded one, has not been finished yet.

In the middle of September, managers of the plant along the Dong Nai River set up dykes which have repeatedly led to floodings in the area following periods of heavy rain.

Around 100 families have fled the area since the middle of September.

They say they were not informed, and thus not prepared for the construction fo the disastrous dams.

Many families are living in temporary tents they've set up in the surrounding mountains and are furious that they never received any official notification that their land would be taken.

They say that no one has approached them to discuss compensation.

Tran Nhi Long, a local resident, said his family had 4.6 hectares of farmland and ponds.

"Until now, I haven't received notice that my land would be seized, haven't received payment, haven't been resettled," Long said.

"When the water rose suddenly, I had to leave everything behind; I'm lucky to be alive," VietNamNet quoted Long as saying.

Another local, Dao Khac Qui, said the rising water flooded 16 ponds, containing around four tons of fish and hundreds of ducks and chickens.

"My coffee and banana plantations were flooded but I have not been compensated," Qui said.

A sand and rock evacuation firm in the area, named Duy Khanh, said that 17,000 cubic meters of constuction sand is now sitting underwater.

They estimate that they've lost a total of VND1.7 billion (US$87.2 million). 

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