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Phu Yen landslides force residents to evacuate

PHU YEN, April 29 — Nearly 500 households in Son Ha Commune and Cung Son Town in the central province of Phu Yen's Son Hoa District are threatened by an annual landslide in the Ba River.

Pham Dinh Phung, deputy chairman of the Son Hoa District People's Committee, said that for more than 10 years, the landslide had happened every year when the rainy season came.

However, when the Song Ba Ha Hydroelectric Plant discharged water, the problem was worse. The water rose quickly and encroached on land, destroying dozens of hectares of farming land, said Phung.

Many parts of the Ba River slid by 8-15m. Huynh Van Cuong, a resident of Dong Hoa residential quarter, Cung Son Town, said that the part of the river inside the town slid the most, as it was near the Song Ba Ha Hydroelectric Plant.

"During the flood season, we must tell local residents the amount of water which the hydroelectric plant will release," said head of the residential quarter Doan Chanh Hien.

If the plant discharges 6,000cu.m per second, residents are advised to leave.

"Some households moved elsewhere," said Hien.

The Son Hoa District set up two resettlement projects in 2012 with the permission of the Phu Yen People's Committee.

The VND68 billion (US$ 3.2 million) project will move nearly 500 households living near the Ba River. However, it has not yet been implemented due to a shortage of funds.

One of the two projects will likely be implemented next year. Under the project, more than 200 households in Cung Son Town will be resettled.

Phung said that the district authorities had located a safe area in the district and encouraged local residents to live there. So far 23 households from Son Ha Commune and 18 from Cung Son Town have agreed to move to the area. (PNA/VNS)

FPV/EBP

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