Land erosion triggers collapse of city homes

TN News

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Land erosion in Ho Chi Minh City damaged 11 houses along Thanh Da peninsula Saturday night, forcing the residents to evacuate.


No death or injuries were reported.


"Around 10 p.m., we started to hear big cracks. Then the land behind our home near the river began to collapse. So we immediately packed things to move, but the water still took away two motorbikes, a computer and several other things," said one of the victims, 76-year-old Ngo Tat Son.


The collapsed area falls under a project that aims to prevent land erosion in Thanh Da, Binh Thanh District.


Son and several other residents had built dykes around their houses but they proved weaker than the whirling waters as the collapsing of the banks continued until early Sunday.


Diep Quang Thanh, 55, who also lost parts of his house, said his family moved to a hotel ten days ago after he discovered many big cracks around the house.


Thanh said he had informed local government and neighbors but some had home-based businesses and hadn't moved yet.


"We hope the government quickly solves the problem, so affected families like us can stabilize our lives."


A local official named Thanh said erosion had never occurred in this area before. The identified erosion hotspots were located on the other side of the peninsula. "But it was really serious this time, which means the water flow is getting stronger."


She said the Binh Thanh District administration planned to relocate the residents but had not gone through with it.


Le Thanh Danh, another local official, said residents affected by the latest collapse have been evacuated to the halls of local government offices and will be given daily meals.


Local forces are waiting for low tide to fish out the residents' furniture and other belongings, he added.


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