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Ca Mau declares emergency as erosion threatens sea dykes

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HCMC – The Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau declared an emergency situation on August 27 as erosion caused by tides threatens the sea dykes along the western coast of the province, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

According to Ca Mau Province chairman Nguyen Tien Hai, more than three kilometers of sea dykes in the province are at risk of breaking down. Moreover, four sections have been severely damaged by landslides in Khanh Tien, Khanh Binh Tay Bac, Khanh Hai and Khanh Binh Tay communes.

Hai assigned the Ca Mau Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with collaborating with the authorities of U Minh and Tran Van Thoi districts to set up safety barriers along the affected areas. The two districts were also asked to evacuate local residents to safe places.

To Quoc Nam, deputy director of the Ca Mau Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the protective forests in these areas are declining, so tides hit the dykes directly, putting them at risk of collapsing.

He said the local authorities are keeping a close eye on the situation and coming up with plans to fix the dykes. Warning signs would be installed in dangerous locations, he suggested.

The southernmost province has more than 250 kilometers of sea dykes along both the eastern and western coasts. The western sea dykes play an important role in preventing salinity intrusion and protecting the 90,000 hectares of agricultural land of over 26,000 households. However, up to 80% of the sea dykes in the province have been affected by erosion and landslides.

Seawater is encroaching onto the land by 20-25 meters each year and the province has lost some 9,000 hectares of protective forests due to erosion since 2007.

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