The arrival of the rainy season has already caused a fatal landslide in the north and serious riverbank erosion in the Mekong Delta.
On June 7, a landslide triggered by heavy rain the previous night killed a father-and-son in the northern province of Ha Giang.
Nguyen Van Chuc, 49, and his son Nguyen Minh Nhat, 13, were killed on the spot while his wife suffered minor injuries after a landslide crushed their home at around 4 a.m.
The landslide also damaged the family’s van which was parked at the foot of the hill.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Lan, deputy chairman of Ha Giang Town People’s Committee, said the landslide was triggered by heavy rains that lasted until Saturday morning.
On June 7, seven houses on the bank of the Hau River in Hau Giang Province collapsed into the river. No one was killed in the incident.
Nguyen Thi Chau, the owner of one of the houses in Phung Hiep District, said she was she heard strange cracking sounds.
“My husband and I saw the walls cracking and quickly ran outside,” she said, adding that the incident happened at around 6 a.m.
The section that collapsed into the river was 35 meters long and 4 meters deep.
The incident terrified hundreds of locals living in ten nearby houses, many of whose homes also were destroyed by the erosion.
Eight houses collapsed into the Hau River in Vietnam's Mekong Delta on June 7, 2014. Photo: Dinh Tuyen.
Nguyen Thi Phi said cracks appeared in her house several days ago and she was thinking about fixing them before nearby houses collapsed into the river.
Local official Le Van Ho said he has mobilized police officers and soldiers to assist the residents to move into temporary accommodations.
In neighboring Dong Thap Province, authorities have issued emergency warnings about possible erosion on the bank of the Tien River which contains more than 4,000 households.
According to Nguyen Huu Chiem, associate professor at the Can Tho University, residents throughout the Mekong Delta have traditionally of built houses near the edges of rivers and bays for easy waterway access.
“However, their houses are prone to erosion because strong currents can dig deep into the bank under the water's surface. Combine erosion with a mass of concrete houses, and banks can easily collapse,” he said.
“There should be an early and thorough survey of such places to relocate threatened communities and avoid possible damages.”
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