Rockslide buries houses in south central Vietnam

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  The suspension bridge at the foot of Pu Cam Mountain in Nghe An Province which has been deformed due to a big widening crack in the mountain. The sign bans vehicles from driving on it and more than a few people from walking across it at a time.

Three houses in south central Vietnam were buried in rocks when a crack in Pu Cam Mountain widened Sunday night due to the heavy rains, a development which geophysicists had predicted.

Cut Xuan Ninh, chairman of Luong Ninh Commune of Nghe An Province, said a rockslide from Pu Cam mountain buried three houses in a 50-family village located at the foot of the mountain and also damaged nearby roads.

"Luckily there were no casualties as the villagers had moved to across the Nam Non River. But the three families now face serious difficulties," he told Tuoi Tre.

The crack runs more than one kilometer from the top of the mountain to the river at its foot, according to experts from the Vietnam Institute of Geophysics who surveyed the area on May 17.

Ninh said the long crack in the mountain appeared during last year's rainy season, threatening residents at its foot, the commune medical center, effecting schools and damaging a suspension bridge local people depend on to cross the stream.

Upon completing their survey, geophysicists called for the urgent evacuation of the 50-family village, as some parts of the crack measured 50 centimeters wide.

They said the crack was caused by gravity sliding and would widen during periods of heavy rainfall.

Tuong Duong District authorities are helping to move people and construction projects to the other side of the stream.

Earlier in May, Nguyen Ho Canh, chairman of the district administration, said the district did not have money for the relocation and that he would seek help from the Nghe An government.

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