The Mekong Delta region is suffering from severe salinity that may cause soil quality degeneration, agricultural output declines and fresh water price increases, according to the Southern Regional Hydro-meteorological Centre.

The centre reported salinity levels areas field between 40-60 kilometres deep in land with salt-to-soil ratios of up to 0,006:1 in some areas.

The level is forecast to reach its peak in mid-March, ravaging mostly Kien Giang, An Giang and Soc Trang provinces.

In Ben Tre province, the hardest hit localities include Ba Tri, Cho Lach and Chau Thanh districts.

The centre also forecasts salinity will continue hitting the Mekong Delta region until mid-May this year, decreasing only upon the arrival of the rainy season.

To cope with the situation, regional localities have applied anti-salinity measures, including closing all irrigation sluices, building temporary dykes to prevent salt water, and pumping fresh water to high-salinity areas.-VNA