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16/12/2021 - 09:11

Investing in responding to Coastal Erosion

Coastal erosions and landslides in Thua Thien Hue province are getting more and more serious. Recently, upon checking the situation of coastal erosion, Recently, Mr. Tran Quang Hoai, General Director of the General Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, has asked localities to review and propose plans for urgent handling of critical points and applying advanced solutions to deal with the aftermaths of landslides to ensure safety.

Anti-erosion embankment cutting across Phu Thuan commune (Phu Vang district)

24 localities being affected

According to the Provincial Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, in recent years, due to the increasingly complicated effects of climate change, the abnormal changes of weather in the province have caused heavy rain. This influences the water discharge of hydroelectricity dams, making coastal erosion more and more serious.

The topography of the rivers in the areas is short and steep, the amount of silt and sand in the river is unbalanced, and therefore, from 2009 up to now, especially in the stormy season in 2020, the coastal erosion situation has been very complicated throughout the province, which greatly affects people's lives and the local socio-economic development.

Mr. Phan Van Tri, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Quang Ngan commune (Quang Diendistrict) informed that in recent years, coastal erosion in the locality has become more and more obvious through the rainy and stormy seasons. Currently, the coastal zone cutting across this area is experiencing landslides and deep erosion into the mainland from 7 to 10m, directly affecting 100 households and essential infrastructure. The locality has proposed to implement a project to protect more than 100 coastal households, as well as the infrastructure around the area and the protection forest line here.

Currently, more than 12.4km of coastline (out of a total of 128km of coastline in the whole province) is heavily eroded, concentrating in areas such as Phong HaiPhong Hoa (Phong Dien district); Quang NganQuang Cong (Quang Dien district); Hai Duong (Hue City); Phu ThuanPhu HaiPhu DienVinh Thanh (Phu Vang district) and Vinh MyGiang Hai (Phu Loc district). In the rainy and stormy season, the annual average erosion rate is from 3 to 5m and from 5 to 7m in some places. Especially, in the past 10 years, the coastal zone cutting across Giang Hai commune has suffered from the erosion of about 100 to 200m deep.

Landslides threaten the lives and properties of more than 1,500 households living directly near the shore and the sand dunes strip, affect 24 coastal communes and wards, incur the risk of opening a new sea mouth, impact the National Highway 49B, as well as the infrastructure, socio-economic, tourism services and ecosystem of 22,000 ha of Tam Giang - Cau Hai lagoon.

Natural disasters have caused erosion, landslide, and sedimentation at the sea mouths of Thuan AnTu HienLang Co and Lach Giang, increasing the risk of natural instability, affecting flood drainage and operating channels of about 2,000 boats coming in and out of the seaports, as well as cargo ships with the tonnage of up to 2,000 tons entering and exiting Thuan An port.

Investing step by step

According to Mr. Dang Van Hoa, Deputy Chief of the Office of the Provincial Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, to respond to the current situation of coastal eroseds struction, it neural and non-structural solutions. Over the past years, with many sources of capital from the central, local, and other legal sources, the province has invested in embankments to prevent coastal erosion with the scope of about 6.2km, with a total cost of over 600 billion VND. 

In particular, the most recent is the section cutting across Giang Hai commune with a length of 2.5km. Currently, the anti-erosion embankment works are operating normally and effectively.

In order to deal with coastal erosion in the Central region, the Prime Minister has sent an official dispatch to direct the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the central specialized agencies to conduct an overall study to come up with a corrective solution to prevent coastal erosion in the coastal provinces, including Thua Thien Hue.

In the immediate future, the Provincial People's Committee has directed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to continue monitoring the situation of landslides in critical areas to take timely measures to ensure people's lives and properties, as well as essential construction and infrastructure. It is also essential to review and relocate households living close to dangerous landslide areas, especially during the annual rainy season. Local authorities should install and erect warning signs for dangerous landslide areas.

Localities have planted wave break trees along Tam Giang - Cau Hai lagoon and some critical points to protect dikes and embankments. Also, the coastal protection forests have been strengthened, and illegal sand and gravel exploitation in rivers and coastal zones have been prevented.

In the long run, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has made a provincial irrigation plan from now to 2025, with a vision to 2035, proposing the Provincial People's Committee to build embankments to prevent coastal erosion in critical sections in the area, with a budget of more than 1,300 billion for implementation in the near future.

According to Mr. Dang Van Hoa, the authorities are currently working on the project to correct and dredge Thuan An estuary channel. In phase 2 of the project, the construction of a 240m-long southern sand-blocking dike along Thuan An sea mouth will receive the investment, whereas the anti-erosion embankment route of 500m long cutting across Phu Hai commune will be implemented in phase 1 of the project.

In addition, the project of stabilizing and dredging Tu Hien estuary, as well as maintaining waterway traffic in and out of this estuary will soon be implemented, with the compensation fund of Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. This project will meet the demand for 70 arrivals of ship per day, as well as provide sheltered place for 300 ships with a capacity of over 300CV to anchor from storms.

As a result of the investment project to develop coastal forests and lagoons in the province with a total capital of more than 110 billion VND, 255ha of forests on coastal sand and 126ha of mangroves along the lagoon have been planted, including 50ha planted along the West dyke of Tam Giang lagoon, about 20ha in Ru Cha area, about 30ha on the East dyke of Tam Giang lagoon, about 26ha in Cau Hailagoon and Lap An lagoon, and 120ha freshwater plantation in Phong Dien and Quang Dien districts.

Story and photo: Ha Nguyen 

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