Old reservoirs in north central region create concerns hinh anh 1Truc Kinh Reservoir in Gio Linh district, Quang Tri province with a capacity of 39 million cu.m (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - With the monsoon approaching, the condition of hundreds of reservoirs in the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri has increased concerns of possible danger.

Funds allocated from the government budget for repair work are insufficient, resulting in temporary repairs that do not ensure complete safety when water in the reservoirs reaches its peak.

A report by Irrigation Department in Ha Tinh province said 190 out of 350 reservoirs in the province are in bad condition due to deterioration over time. These include reservoirs in the districts of Huong Son, Nghi Xuan and Thach Ha, which could collapse any time, department deputy director Tran Duy Chien said.

Chien added that the reservoirs were built some 40 years ago and repairs were not done annually.

Deposits lead to the formation of layers on the reservoir beds, reducing their reserve capacity. This means more pressure on the reservoir walls when a high volume of water pours into the reservoirs.

The condition of the reservoirs is also worrying local authorities of Quang Binh province. According to Nguyen Ngoc Phung, director of the province’s Irrigation Department, almost all reservoirs in the province were built in the 1970s and their walls were seriously damaged.

Phung said no overall maintenance was conducted since then due to the lack of funds from the local budget.

Phung said there were many holes on the reservoir beds, cracks on walls and loose sluice gates. Last year’s floods had only worsened the situation. Residents living in the lower parts of the reservoirs said they were forced to evacuate to safer places due to fears of the reservoirs collapsing.

According to the irrigation department, localities where the reservoirs were located had built earthen embankments to store water for cultivation. However, these earth embankments were in danger of being washed away in the floods, Phung said.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Quang Tri province reported that the province has 131 reservoirs for irrigation and agriculture. The reservoirs are as old as those in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, resulting in similar concerns among locals with the flood season approaching.

Nam Thach Han, a reservoir that was heavily damaged by floods late last year, had not been repaired properly, resulting in the fear that is could collapse in the coming flood season.

Trieu Thuong No 2, another reservoir in Quang Tri, had a 55m crack on the upper wall that had not been repaired yet. The department’s staff expected the crack would increase when water in the reservoir reached its peak during the monsoon.

Authorities in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh have asked for Government support in installing monitoring tools for prompt release of water in case water in the reservoir reached an alarming level.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has first responded to calls from Quang Tri due to the critical condition of local reservoirs. The ministry will disburse 1.2 trillion VND (53 million USD) for a grand overhaul of the most damaged reservoirs in the locality.-VNA