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Rockslides repeatedly block traffic along mountain pass connecting Da Lat, Nha Trang

Monday, December 31, 2018, 14:50 GMT+7
Rockslides repeatedly block traffic along mountain pass connecting Da Lat, Nha Trang
A massive amount of rock fills a section of Khanh Le Pass, which connects Da Lat and Nha Trang Cities, on December 30, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A mountain pass connecting a famed beach city in south-central Vietnam and a tourist town in the Central Highlands has been repeatedly affected by severe rockslides over the weekend.

Traffic along the Khanh Le Pass, which links Da Lat, the capital of Lam Dong Province, and Nha Trang, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, was continuously blocked by rockslides on Saturday and Sunday.

Heavy downpours first caused a mudslide at around 3:30 pm on Saturday, completely closing down the route near the 57th kilometer.

Local authorities were able to clear the path on the night of the same day, but it was once again struck by a massive amount of earth and rock at the same location about two hours later.

Despite their best efforts, specialized units were only able to partially deal with the situation as of Sunday afternoon, clearing traffic in only one direction.

The area at that time was still hit by a heavy rain and reduced visibility.

Traffic is blocked due to a mudslide on Khanh Le Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Traffic is blocked due to a mudslide on Khanh Le Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Besides this part of the mountain pass, a severe mudslide occurred at three other locations, whereas milder incidents happened at dozens of other spots along the path, according to Nguyen Duc Hung, a local road management official.

“We tried our best,” Le Van Hieu, director of a Khanh Hoa-based company that was in charge of clearing the road, said on Sunday, adding that new downpour-caused landslides are likely to occur in the mountain pass.

A car breaks down along the route. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A car breaks down along the route. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Despite the danger, some people still decided to travel on this route, mostly on motorbikes and bicycles, according to observations by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters.

Nguyen Duc Gia, a 60-year-old motorcyclist, said he almost crashed into a pile of rocks due to the foggy atmosphere.

Workers shovel rocks on the mountain pass.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
Workers shovel rocks on the mountain pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“I am aware of the jeopardy. But I have to try to go home, since I’m already halfway there,” Gia told Tuoi Tre as he was trying to pass the route on Sunday.

According to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, torrential rain started battering the central region on Saturday and is expected to linger until January 3 or 4.

Workers shovel rocks on the mountain pass.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
Workers shovel rocks on the mountain pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A man fixes telecom wires along the pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A man fixes telecom wires along the pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A serious landslide occurs along the path. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A serious landslide occurs along the path. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A worker takes a break to have a quick snack. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A worker takes a break to have a quick snack. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters travel on Khanh Le Pass despite the mudslides. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters travel on Khanh Le Pass despite the mudslides. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters travel on Khanh Le Pass despite the mudslides. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Commuters travel on Khanh Le Pass despite the mudslides.Photo: Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Duc Gia, a commuter, said he almost crashed into a pile of rocks. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Duc Gia, a commuter, said he almost crashed into a pile of rocks. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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