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September 26, 2021, 11:53 pm

Hydro plants blamed for worsening flooding in central Vietnam

(15:52:37 PM 18/11/2013)
( - Many local authorities in the central region said the discharge of water in large quantities from hydropower plants worsened the recent flooding in central provinces that killed 24 people.

A house collapses during the recent fierce flood in An Nhon Town, Binh Dinh Province (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

The flooding that lasted for a few days from November 15 was the aftermath of the recent tropical depression that brought torrential rains and caused rivers to rise.

According to a report submitted by the Standing Office for Flood and Storm to Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang, not many hydropower plants discharged water on November 15 – when the serious flooding occurred –  and the volume of released water was not ample, ranging from 134 to 360 cubic meters per second.

However, local authorities bought forward much higher figures.

Ho Van Dien, deputy chairman of the Ayun Pa Town People’s committee, said, “On November 15, after being informed that the An Khe-Kanak Hydropower Plant would discharge water at a speed of 2,400 cubic meters, we mobilized forces to evacuate all people living along the banks of the Ba River to safe places. It is the evacuation that helped save the people.”

Trinh Duy Thuan, Party secretary of the An Khe town, Gia Lai province, pointed out that the plant worsened the inundation in the past several days.

In Thua Thien-Hue Provinces, the Huong Dien Hydropower Plant discharged water at a rate of 2,000 cubic meters per second while the volume of water flowing into the plant’s reservoirs was lower, at 1,781 cubic meters per second, at 1 pm December.

Two hours later, the discharge volume increased to 2,400 cubic meters per second, 400 cubic meters higher than the water inflow.

Such a large discharge definitely contributed to the flooding that seriously submerged tens of thousands of houses in the province, local sources said.

Floodwater knocks down many houses in Quang Trach District, Quang Binh Province (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

Nguyen Su, secretary of Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province, commented that in reality, the operation of many hydropower plants do more harm than good.

In dry seasons, they collect water, causing many rivers to become exhausted, many river mouths to suffer salinity from seawater, and many water supply plants to shut down. In rainy and stormy seasons, they discharge water, causing flooding and landslides that put people’s safety at risk, Su said.

He added that Hoi An suffers whenever any local hydropower plant discharges water. “The local tourism sector is also seriously affected by hydropower plants’ operation.”

In Quang Nam province, many hydropower plants have released water at the same time as rising river waters, causing serious flooding, local authorities complained.

“There should be an early and exact forecast so that hydro plants can discharge at an reasonable time before the rise of rivers,” said Ho Van Man, deputy director of the Dai Loc district Steering Board for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control.

Plants should release water when the river’s water reaches 1or 2 alarm level. They should avoid the current trend in which plants do not discharge water until the river’s water amounts to 3 alarm water, Man said.

Among the hydro plants in Dai Loc, only A Vuong signed a commitment to coordinate with local authorities to supervise the discharge of water and to inform the discharge on the public speaker phone system to make it known to everybody, Man said

All the other plants did not do the same, the official said.
Nguyen Van Truc, chairman of the District’s People’s Committee, said more than 100 hectares of crops have been destroyed in the recent flooding, the affect of which was magnified by hydro plants.

Source: tuoitrenews

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