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19/10/2022 - 08:30

Severe coastal erosion threatens thousands of households

Climate change and extreme weather are aggravating coastal erosion, threatening thousands of households living along the coast of Thua Thien Hue.

Sea waves overflowing the production area in Giang Hai

Deep erosion

The coastal area of Hamlet 4 and My Canh Hamlet, Giang Hai Commune (Phu Loc District) suffered erosion with a length of about 1,400 meters. Many decades-old casuarina trees were knocked down by the waves and washed away into the sea.The severe erosion of the land caused damage to some civil construction works such as concrete roads and power poles. The overflow of sea water brought a lot of sand to fill the fields, making it difficult for the people in agricultural production.

Mr. Huynh Van Tan in My Canh Village said that every rainy season, the people are apprehensive about the overflow of seawater, and the erosion of the seashore, threatening their lives, fields, and gardens. The sections built with solid embankments are safe; the rest are at risk of erosion. The recent storm No. 4 caused erosion in many places, where the sea was eroded to nearly 15 meters.

"If coastal erosion lasts a long time, it will endanger the safety of human lives, houses, civil works, and gardens," Mr. Tan said with worry.

Coastal erosion causing damage to constructions

Under the influence of the recent storm No. 4, the sea was rough, and the waves surged inland, causing quite serious coastal erosion in many localities in the province. The coastal area of Thai Duong Ha Bac Hamlet, Hai Duong Commune (Hue City) was eroded many years ago and now continues to erode with a length of more than 100m. The adjacent section near the foot of the northern traffic embankment was eroded with a length of 150m and a depth of 3-5m. The coast of Phuong Dien Hamlet, Phu Dien Commune (Phu Vang) was eroded to 150m in length and 2-3m in depth.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Giang Hai Commune, Mr. Nguyen Huu, is concerned that, in the area, there remains 1.5km of coastline often eroded. If the embankment is not built, it will greatly affect the people’s lives.

The recent storm No. 4 alone caused serious coastal erosion, hitting many households and 140 hectares of production land and aquaculture. Some households need to be resettled in a safe place, but the sustainable solution is to build a solid embankment to ensure the safety of residential areas and production areas of the people.

Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Phong Hai Commune (Phong Dien), Mr. Nguyen Viet Tuong said that the local coast was once heavily eroded and has stopped erosion for many years now. During the recent typhoon No. 4, coastal erosion recurred, threatening residential areas and civil works, and the casuarina forest is at risk of being swept away by waves. Some white-leg shrimp farming areas, although quite far from the coast, are under the threat of erosion and giant waves.

The people's lives monitored and protected

According to the statistics from the authorities and localities, more than 4,000 coastal households are affected by coastal erosion in the province. Among them, about 600 households that are directly hit and life-threatening need to be resettled.

According to the departments and local authorities, the optimal and sustainable solution is to build solid works to prevent coastal erosion and protect the people's lives and properties.

From the central and local capital, over the past time, the province invested in building many solid embankments to prevent coastal erosion such as Phu Thuan, Quang Cong, Giang Hai, and Hai Duong... with a length of about 6. 5km and a cost of about VND 600 billion.

Deputy Chief of the Standing Office of the Provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue, Mr. Dang Van Hoa, judged that most of the embankments are technically and qualitatively guaranteed and are effective. In fact, through the rainy and stormy seasons, the latest storm No. 4, the works protect the safety of residential areas, production areas, and works in localities.

In the middle of this year, the province approved the policy of investment in the project for coastal erosion treatment in the section through Phu Thuan and Phu Hai communes (Phu Vang) with a total investment of VND 160 billion. The localities and departments are continuing to review, develop and propose the investment plans for building solid embankments to prevent coastal erosion in the areas at risk of erosion in the province.

In the short run, the localities and departments regularly monitor the coastal erosion and have plans to evacuate and relocate people to safe places when necessary. Facilities, equipment, materials, and human resources are fully prepared, ensuring temporary reinforcement in order to minimize erosion when there is a serious coastal erosion incident, to prevent the risk of new sea gate formation in some coastal localities, and protect the lives, houses, and properties of the State and the people.

According to the Standing Office of the Provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue, the whole province currently has 30km of coastline eroded with an average erosion of 2-5m per year, in some places up to 7-15m. Among them, 12km of coastline was severely eroded, requiring urgent investment in building solid embankments to protect the safety of residential areas, production areas, and infrastructure works.

Severe erosion sites are mostly in the communes of Phu Thuan, Phu Dien, Vinh Thanh (Phu Vang), Phong Hai, Dien Hoa (Phong Dien), Quang Cong, Quang Ngan (Quang Dien), Giang Hai and Vinh Hien (Phu Loc), Hai Duong (Hue City).

Story and photos: Trieu Vi

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