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An Giang Riverbank Collapses, Drags 16 Houses Underwater

Last Saturday, an entire section of a riverbank in the Mekong Delta's An Giang province collapsed, dragging scores of houses into the river.

As Tuoi Tre reports, on Saturday at approximately 9:30am, a few hundred meters of land along the Vam Nao River in An Giang province’s Cho Moi District broke off into the waterway, bringing along 16 houses and damaging nearby trees and utility poles.

Luckily, at that moment most of the homeowners of the destroyed buildings were not home, thus nobody was harmed in the catastrophe.

Local residents told Zing that signs of the impending disaster appeared two days prior, on April 20, when they spotted a few cracks along the riverside. Some of the fissures ran 160 meters long and as far as 50 meters inland.

“I was inside when I heard some loud noises. When I saw the floor sliding away I quickly rushed outside,” a victim recounted to Zing. His four-member household now has to reside in a nearby school.

Cho Moi District officials have since declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of 40 other families living along the Vam Nao River, affecting 176 people.

According to a report by the An Giang Office of Natural Resources and Environment, the direct cause of the landslide was a huge underwater whirlpool that formed 180 meters away from land. The whirlpool was 380 meters long and 42 meters below the surface, and was likely a product of excessive sand theft. The environmental office warned that the risk of further landslides remains.

[Top photo via Zing. Video via YouTube user RFA Tiếng Việt]

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