Most towers in the My Son sanctuary, a world cultural heritage site in central Quang Nam Province , are in danger of collapse, an official said.

“Only three towers out of 20 are still intact, the others having seriously deteriorated,” said Nguyen Cong Khiet, deputy head of the My Son Management Board.

He added that inspections were carried out annually to assess the towers’ state, emphasising that flooding in October, which inundated the towers by up to 2m, had further worsened the situation by weakening foundations.

“After the floods, authorities could not uproot grass due to brick walls being damp and collapsible.”

Local media reported that towers A1 and A3 were slanting while wall sections of towers B2, B3, and B4 were showing cracks.

Besides the impacts of time, war and natural disasters, the frequent overload of visitors to the site (usually between 9-12am) has also affected the towers, Khiet added.

The My Son towers complex in Duy Xuyen district was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999.

In 2011, the site received more than 247,000 visitors.

Huynh Tan Lap, another board official, said that while 50 percent of visitor fees were used for restoration purposes, 3 billion VND (138,000 USD) out of the total 6 billion VND collected in 2010 proved insufficient.

Lap said that in August this year, the provincial authority decided to funnel more than 9 billion VND (418,000 USD) into restoring tower E7.

Currently, the third phase of co-operation between UNESCO and Italy to help restore towers in group G are underway. It is reported that the Italian Government will provide 420,000 euros (548,000 USD) towards the project in 2012.

Khiet said that the board decided to utilise a tram system this month in efforts to limit the number of tourist cars at the site. The board additionally proposed the increase of visitor fees to add to restoration funds./.