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​Residents take fright as houses sink into water overnight in southern Vietnam

Sunday, July 08, 2018, 17:01 GMT+7
​Residents take fright as houses sink into water overnight in southern Vietnam
A house partially collapses along a canal in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam, July 7, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A number of riverine houses in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta partly sank into the water and panicked sleeping households on Saturday, a result of land erosion common in the region.

Many people living along a canal in Bac Lieu Province said they awoke in the early hours of Saturday to the ominous sound of their houses going down into the channel.

The residents immediately rushed out, crying for help.

“It’s about 2:00 am then. While my family was sleeping, I heard some sounds and woke the children up to carry equipment away. My house collapsed into the canal immediately after that,” said Tran Van Tai, a local.

A downpour and gale-force winds occurred in Bac Lieu during the time.

Part of Tran Van Tai’s house is destroyed in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam, July 7, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Part of Tran Van Tai’s house is destroyed in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam, July 7, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

By the afternoon of the same day, a 50-meter stretch of the canal had been eroded by four meters into the bank, causing more homes to be partially destroyed, including one with a half completely washed away and another which incurred 50-percent damage.

No human casualties have been reported.

Local authorities are expected to help the affected people find a relocation area and move their property to a safe place when the tide has receded, a local official said.

House damage stemming from land erosion is a frequent occurrence in the Mekong Delta.

The latest incident was noted a month earlier, on June 7, when 15 houses had wall cracks and sinking foundations along a 120-meter portion of a riverbank in An Giang Province.

In June 3, over 20 meters of an asphalted road along a local river was eaten away, forming a precipice-like slope.

An eroded riverbank is seen in An Giang Province, Vietnam, June 6, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
An eroded riverbank is seen in An Giang Province, Vietnam, June 6, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A motorcycle runs on an eroded road in An Giang Province, Vietnam, June 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A motorcycle runs on an eroded road in An Giang Province, Vietnam, June 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Men build a protective structure along an eroded road in An Giang Province, Vietnam, June 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Men build a protective structure along an eroded road in An Giang Province, Vietnam, June 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vo Hung Dung, deputy director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, attributed the erosion here to rising rainfall and shifts in river flow.

The number of riverside erosions increases year on year in An Giang, Dung added.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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