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Dozens lose homes to landslide, more at risk

July 01, 2007
Over a dozen HCMC homes slid into a canal Friday as sand exploitation and overbuilding had weakened the unfortified bank. Officials recalled similar losses in the past and said several areas are still at risk. Fifty-four people lost their homes – 13 houses in all – along a 60m stretch of land on Thanh Da Canal off Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh district’s ward 26 in Ho Chi Minh City. The accident site had been zoned for a new embankment to be built in the near future. A state office in charge of monitoring landslides in the area – which has been hit by five landslides that have killed two people since 2002 – fell into the canal with the slide. The city Department of Natural Resources and Environment attributed the accident to the rampant exploitation of sand along the canal bank and people building too many houses too close to the water. Two women slipped into the canal with the homes, but were able to grab hold of floating timber and were rescued. More houses could collapse when the tide recedes. All residents along the canal have been evacuated. Hundreds of areas around the city are still vulnerable due to sand exploitation, weak embankments, and encroaching developments. Last year, several similar incidents occurred in Nha Be district
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