Geophysicists urge evacuation as mountain crack widens in central Vietnam

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Experts from the Vietnam Institute of Geophysics have warned authorities in Nghe An Province in north central Vietnam of a mountain crack and the need of urgent evacuation.

The warning was issued as they were doing a survey on Thursday.

The crack appeared last September, starting at the top of Pu Cam Mountain in Xop Mat village of Tuong Duong District and goes more than one kilometer to the Nam Non River at the foot of the mountain.

Some parts of the crack are 50 centimeters wide, the experts said in a report by news website VnExpress.

The crack has caused a panic among 50 families nearby since the monsoon of 2011.

It has affected several constructions like schools in the area and almost demolished a suspension bridge across the stream at the foot of the mountain. A warning sign has been put up at one end of the bridge, recommending that people avoid running vehicles across or pass it with a large number of people at a time.

Scientists said the crack was caused by gravity sliding and will be worsened by heavy rains.

They said families at the foot of the mountain and its vicinity need to move urgently.

Nguyen Ho Canh, chairman of Tuong Duong District administration, said the district does not have money yet to relocate the residents.

Canh said he will seek some help from the Nghe An government at a meeting expected to be held on May 21.

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