Fishermen gather to receive payment at a compensation session in Thua Thien - Hue (Photo: VGP)

ThuaThien – Hue (VNA) – Nguyen Van Phuong, Vice Chairman of the Thua Thien – Hue People’s Committee, ordered that the first phase payment of compensation to residents affected by the marine environmental accident should be completed before the Lunar New Year (Tet), which is due to fall on January 27.  

The central province has so far distributed more than 260 billion VND (11.44 million USD) worth of compensation to over 14,000 coastal residents affected by the mass fish deaths caused by waste disposal by Formosa Ha Tinh steel company last year.

The sum is equivalent to 65 percent of the money local authorities received for the first phase of compensation.

Along with payment, local authorities have guided residents in how to use the money to restore fishing or switch to other occupations.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has examined additional damages in line with the Prime Minister’s Decision 1880/QD-TTg. To date, the amount has reached approximately 270 billion VND (11.88 million USD).

The volume of unsold seafood products across the province between April and August, 2016, were nearly 490 tonnes, of which 22 tonnes were considered unsafe and destroyed.

In late June 2016, Taiwan-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company admitted responsibility for the environmental incident, which affected the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. It pledged 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD) in compensation.

The Ministry of Finance transferred 3 trillion VND (134 million USD) to the localities in the initial phase. Of the amount, Thua Thien-Hue got 400 billion VND (17.6 million USD), Quang Binh 1.1 trillion VND (48.5 million USD), Ha Tinh one trillion VND (44.1 million USD), and Quang Tri 500 billion VND (22 million USD).-VNA