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Report: 33% Of Hoi An Could Soon Be Underwater

Coastal erosion is threatening the ancient city of Hoi An which may loose a third of its land to surrounding bodies of water.

While erosion has long threatened the UNESCO heritage site, the current rainy season has been particularly harsh, with high tides and waves causing massive deterioration to Cua Dai beach, uprooting trees and electricity poles. Parts of the beach have receded 40 meters inland.

Hoi An authorities “have warned that rising tides will swallow a third of the central tourist town,” according to Thanh Nien, citing Voice of Vietnam.

The Hoi An Town's People’s Committee has called on local residents to build makeshift embankments to supplement a VND10 billion levee project which has been slowed by rouge waves and strong winds.

However, these constructions are expected to be temporary solutions since the town lies between two bodies of water - the Thu Bon River and the sea.

A more permanent solution was put forth by Nguyen Van Hien, head of the Hoi An Department of Natural Resources and Environment, who suggested “the government should take more steps to control the flow of the Thu Bon River and dredge Cua Dai Bay as its shallow entrance retains flood waters longer.”

Vietnam has spent a great deal of time and money restoring Hoi An to its former glory and in turn positioning it as a tourist hot spot. It would truly be a shame to see all that effort go to waste.

[Thanh Nien // Photo via Khánh Hmoong]