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Iconic Huong River turns yellow in central Vietnam

Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 13:58 GMT+7
Iconic Huong River turns yellow in central Vietnam
Water in the Huong (Perfume) River turns yellow and cloudy in Hue City, Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Water in an iconic river in Hue City, located in the central Vietnamese province of Thua Thien-Hue, has turned yellow and red over the past week, but the reason behind this phenomenon remains unclear.

The situation occurred along the Huong (Perfume) River and its tributaries including An Cuu, Dong Ba, Bach Yen, and Nhu Y following the impact of Tropical Storm Noul.

The storm, the fifth to hit Vietnam in 2020, made landfall in the central region on September 18 and unleashed massive rainfall in many central provinces. Four people were killed and many others injured in Thua Thien-Hue Province in the storm.

The yellowish color seems to become darker as Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters traveled upstream from downtown Hue City to Huong Thuy and Huong Tra Towns.

The Huu Trach River turns yellow in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The Huu Trach River turns yellow in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A similar situation could also be noticed along nearby Huu Trach and Ta Trach Rivers.

According to Phan Thanh Hung, head of the office of the Thua Thien-Hue Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention, water in the Huong River often changes its color once every few years due to torrential rain and floods.

However, the color this time appears to be darker than similar phenomena that occured in the past, Hung added.

“Downpours triggered by Storm Noul must have washed soil and sand from construction sites near the upstream section, including the Cam Lo-Son La Expressway project, down to the river, resulting in the yellow-and-red color,” the official elaborated.

A section of the Ta Trach River turns yellow in color in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A section of the Ta Trach River turns yellow in color in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A similar phenomenon happened three years ago, when the La Son-Tuy Loan Expressway was under construction, Hung said.

No such phenomenon was recorded in the Huong River in 2018 and 2019, he added.

Le Van Tam, who has lived near the upstream section of Huong River in Huong Thuy Town for more than 40 years, stated that the water in the river usually becomes cloudy during the rainy and flood seasons.

However, the yellow color has only begun to appear in recent years, Tam added.

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