CA MAU — Unusually high tides over the past few days have submerged the entire 252km long coastline Ca Mau Province in what officials say is stark evidence of climate change.
Some of the coastline areas in the southernmost province are under 0.5m of water, local reports say.
In Ca Mau, the high tide season happens from December to March, but it appears to have come a month earlier this year. The average water level is also 0.3m higher than in previous years, officials say.
Le Van Su, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the earlier onset of high tides and the higher water levels are clear signs of climate change and rising sea water levels.
This phenomenon has been seen over the past few years, he said.
Some areas 50km deep inside the mainland have also affected by the tides, including Nam Can Town in Nam Can District.
More than 2,000ha of aquaculture farms and 1,000ha of food crops and orchards have been damaged by the tides.
Le Dung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the Prime Minister has approved five climate change adaptation programmes in Ca Mau. To implement these, a total of VND5 trillion (US$238 million) is needed, he added.
Dung also said that the province will give priority to building a sea dyke along its eastern coastline and upgrading the western dyke system with an investment of VND1.3 trillion ($61.9 million).
The western sea dyke system of Ca Mau has been seriously damaged by landslides caused by heavy rains and strong winds.
The 120km-long system runs through Phu Tan, U Minh and Tran Can Thoi districts in Ca Mau to reach Kien Giang province. It plays a significant role in transportation and prevention of saltwater intrusion.