Hanoians flee as dam discharge damages riverside houses

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Many people in downtown Hanoi were forced to evacuate Thursday as water discharge from hydropower plants in the northern region raised water levels in the Red River and damaged the foundations of their homes.

Hanoi flood and storm authorities said in a Friday report by news website VnExpress that water levels in the river rose by 1-2 meters to 8.5 meters after major dams in Son La, Hoa Binh and Tuyen Quang Provinces all discharged water. The ones in Hoa Binh and Tuyen Quang continued to discharging at their full capacity, they said.

The riverside house of Nguyen Van Thanh in Hoan Kiem District lost 1.2 meters of its base to the water and can fall into the river any time.

Thanh's and five other families on Bach Dang Street have been moved to safer places.

A source with the Hoan Kiem District administration said erosion along the Red River has been significant since late July and the dams' water discharge had made it worse.

The National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said water levels would fall in the coming days as no heavy rainfall was expected.

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