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Landslides threaten Dien Bien residents

Forty families in Tia Dinh C Hamlet in Tia Dinh Commune, the northern province of Dien Bien, are living in fear of landslides as cracks have appeared and expanded in the ground surrounding their homes.

A big crack is seen in a house in Tia Dinh C Hamlet, Tia Dinh Commune in the northern province of Dien Bien.
A big crack is seen in a house in Tia Dinh C Hamlet, Tia Dinh Commune in the northern province of Dien Bien.

Since September, 2014, the first cracks stretching of hundreds of metres appeared in the hamlet, damaging local residents’ houses and other construction work. As of this month, four houses have collapsed because of the cracks.

Giang A Sinh, vice chairman of Tia Dinh Commune People’s Committee said that the cracks were putting local residents and infrastructure at risk, with more new cracks appearing.

The cracks are usually 20-30 cm wide, even up to 50 cm, and 1.5-2 metres deep.

“Some houses in the affected area have started to lean,” he said, adding that it was urgent to evacuate 44 families living in the area.

“Local authorities called on people to move to safer areas,” he said.

The cracks also affected Tia Dinh Boarding Primary School which is now the home of about 460 students and teachers.

The school principal Ngo Van Vinh said cracks appeared on walls and floors subsided.

“Students now have to study in the storehouses or canteen,” he said.

Thao Thi Pa said since the cracks appeared in the hamlet, people had been living in fear.

Torrential rain earlier this month had worsened the issue, she said.