Vietnam’s agriculture ministry on Monday introduced an online map detailing all subsidence hotpots in the Mekong Delta, which is aimed at providing better control over risks and safety in the affected areas.
The map, accessible at http://satlodbscl.phongchongthientai.vn, highlights all locations along local coasts and riverbanks that are susceptible to land collapse, according to Hoang Van Thang, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Subsidence has become increasingly serious, leaving negative impacts on sustainable development in the ‘rice bowl of Vietnam,’ Deputy Minister Thang assessed, referring to the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam.
“If we continue building houses and exploit sand without proper planning, the situation will soon be out of control,” the official stressed.
There are currently 562 locations at risk of coastal and riverbank subsidence in the region, Thang said, adding that 55 of them are especially dangerous.
The map is capable of showing important information, namely length, depth, possible impact on the environment and local residents, and satellite images of the subsidence-prone areas.
Thanks to the information, competent authorities will be able to issue warnings and evacuation, if necessary, in a prompt manner, the deputy minister stated.
Specialized units in each Mekong Delta province will carry out regular examinations to update the database.
The agriculture ministry will continue coordinating with local authorities and experts to evaluate the status of all subsidence hotpots across the Mekong Delta to propose both short-term and long-term solutions.
“Different measures such as building embankments or relocation will be applied depending on the situation and resources in each locality” Thang elaborated.
The Mekong Delta is home to over 20 million people and holds strategic significance in terms of socio-economic development and national and defense of the country.
Subsidence occurs in almost all provinces in the region and is most serious in An Giang, Dong Thap, Ca Mau, and Bac Lieu.
The central government has decided to channel VND1.5 trillion (US$66 million) from its budget into dealing with subsidence in the Mekong Delta in 2018.