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Major landfill smolders for days in Da Lat

Friday, December 27, 2019, 18:05 GMT+7
Major landfill smolders for days in Da Lat
Smoke belches from the smoldering fire at Cam Ly Landfill in Da Lat City, located in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, in December 2019. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

A major landfill in Da Lat, a popular tourist city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, has been smoldering for the past five days, blanketing many neighborhoods throughout the area in a cloud of pollution.

The smoke rising from the garbage fire at the city’s Cam Ly Landfill, the primary dumping ground for Da Lat’s household waste, has been a cause of serious public health concern.

The Da Lat Urban Service Company, the firm tasked with managing the landfill, said the cause of the incident has yet to identified and they are still working out an approach to put out the flames.

So far, the company’s only actions to battle the fire have been mitigating the situation by piling dirt atop the heaps of burning garbage.

Local authorities, on the other hand, believed the smoldering flames were caused by controlled fire which had been set to minimize the risk of uncontrolled forest fires.

The flames rising from the Cam Ly Landfill are expected to continue into next week, fueled by the region’s dry weather spell.

The Cam Ly Landfill in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam still receives garbage on a daily basis despite a smoldering fire. Photo: L.D / Tuoi Tre

The Cam Ly Landfill in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam still receives garbage on a daily basis despite a smoldering fire. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

Residents in Ward 4, Ward 5, and several downtown neighborhoods have been most affected by the air pollution brought about by the situation.

“I cannot tell whether it is smoke or fog in the early morning, but the smell definitely causes a lot of discomfort, especially for children,” said Nguyen An Nhon, a resident in Ward 4. 

“The only thing we can do is shut all of the doors and windows.”

Cam Ly is the largest dumpsite in Da Lat, Lam Dong Province, a famous tourist city with a population of nearly 400,000 people.

In mid-August, a large amount of garbage from the dumpsite was washed downhill following a heavy rain into a nearby valley, filling about a hectare of farmland with household waste.

The consequences of the trash slide have yet to be resolved completely.

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