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In central Vietnam, centuries-old banyan tree relocated after fatally crushing passer-by

In central Vietnam, centuries-old banyan tree relocated after fatally crushing passer-by

Sunday, September 26, 2021, 13:04 GMT+7
In central Vietnam, centuries-old banyan tree relocated after fatally crushing passer-by
Anh, a 74-year-old woman in Quang Ngai City of the namesake province in Vietnam, performs a ritual to bid farewell to the centuries-old banyan tree before it was replanted away from the city. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Authorities of Quang Ngai City, the capital of the namesake province in central Vietnam, have mobilized manpower to move a 200-year-old banyan tree to a new location after it toppled, killing a woman.

The banyan tree, which spans four meters in diameter, twenty meters in length, and weighs some 120 metric tons, fell on Tuesday morning, crushing a woman passing by to death. 

Following the accident, an impromptu survey showed that local residents wished to save the tree, an icon of the locale, and carry out worship rituals for it as prescribed by local traditions.

Both suggestions were accepted by city authorities, who mobilized tow trucks and dozens of workers to convey the tree from Nguyen Van Linh Street in Quang Ngai City to the nearby Thien But Mountain on Saturday. 

The forces showed up at the scene one day earlier to trim the tree roots and dress the wounds to increase its chance to recover.

Meanwhile, local residents on Saturday prepared a worship ritual to bid farewell to the sacred tree before it left the place. 

The 200-year-old banyan tree in Quang Ngai City is seen before it toppled on September 21, 2021. Photo: Duong Thanh Danh

The 200-year-old banyan tree in Quang Ngai City under Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam is seen before it toppled on September 21, 2021. Photo: Duong Thanh Danh

The 200-year-old banyan tree in Quang Ngai City is uprooted. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

The 200-year-old banyan tree in Quang Ngai City is uprooted. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Workers use glue to dress the wound of the 200-year-old banyan tree in Quang Ngai City. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Workers use glue to dress the wound of the 200-year-old banyan tree in Quang Ngai City. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Given the size and weight of the trunk, functional forces had to lift electric wires and Internet cables up to make way for the tree to leave the city's downtown. 

It took them some three hours to send the tree from its original location to Thien But Mountain, which is five kilometers away.

“We had to deploy three heavy-duty tow trucks, with two lifting the root and one on the other end, to put the tree on a container truck,” said Le The Tao, director of T-T-T Company, who was responsible for the relocation of the tree. 

“The limited space in the city, coupled with the tree’s weight, posed many challenges for us.

“We’re glad that we could wrap things up in a day.”

Tow trucks pull the 200-year-old banyan tree off the ground after it gets uprooted in Quang Ngai Province, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Tow trucks pull the 200-year-old banyan tree off the ground after it got uprooted in Quang Ngai Province, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Workers lift hanging cables to make way for the 200-year-old banyan tree to leave downtown Quang Ngai City, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Workers lift hanging cables to make way for the 200-year-old banyan tree to leave downtown Quang Ngai City, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

“In honor of our predecessors and for the benefit of the upcoming generations, it is our responsibility to save the tree,” said Ha Hoang Viet Phuong, chairman of the Quang Ngai City People’s Committee, of the successful relocation mission. 

The tree will be taken care of by the Quang Ngai Province Urban Environment Company and the local Ornamental Creature Association after it gets replanted on Sunday, Phuong added.

Capable of surviving centuries, banyan trees are planted in various areas of Vietnam for shade and are often associated with spiritual values, oftentimes representing the Protective Genie of a village.

However, its root system tends to spread aerially and rather shallow, which makes it susceptible to uprooting accidents during storms and gale winds.

Workers removes a traffic light pole to make way for the 200-year-old banyan tree to leave downtown Quang Ngai City, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Workers remove a traffic light pole to make way for the 200-year-old banyan tree to leave downtown Quang Ngai City, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

A container truck conveys a 200-year-old banyan tree to a new location in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

A container truck conveys a 200-year-old banyan tree to a new location in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, September 25, 2021. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

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