Fearing another storm
  • | | March 16, 2010 11:19 AM

It has been half a year since the Ninth storm hit Quang Ngai Province and its devastating aftermath is still apparent in the area of Phuoc Thien Commune (Binh Hai, Binh Son). Dozens of homes on the coast line were destroyed due to flooding.

This used to be Mr. Nong’s house.

Once the kitchen of a local family.

“I still remember clearly in my head what had happened that afternoon. The wild storm came in and took over the whole village. People were trying to flee from the storm. Things were swept away by strong waves. All of our savings were gone just like that. This was a lifetime of things we were building up. We had nothing left but collapsed houses and vast areas of rubbish and sand,” recalled teacher Tran Ngoc Anh, whose house was severely damaged in the Ninth storm last year.

The storm consumed 10-15 metres of land from each house. In total, 24 households were seriously destroyed and some people still have to live in their neighbour’s house.

Mr. Nong said it must have been luck that his house was not totally swept away. He took us to the coast and showed us the place where it had once been a pigsty, a kitchen, and a bed for many households.

The fierce storm definitely left a huge impact on the life of the local people. “If there was another storm like the one we just had or even a smaller one, the whole village would be wiped out. If our local government doesn’t do anything about it or help us relocate somewhere else, we will lose everything. I heard they are planning it, but we have not been officially informed of anything. We just hope that it will happen, even though it’s hard for us to leave a place that we have been living for so long and are very attached to. And where are we going to get the money to build a new life?” asked teacher Anh.

Mr. Vo Van Phan, Vice Chairman of Binh Hai Commune told DTiNews that the commune had petitioned for the households in Phuoc Thien Hamlet to be relocated since 2005, but authorities early this year informed us about the decision to resettle here. The commune doesn’t have any spare land for people to move to, and then would have no expenditure for them to build a new house, even just a temporary one.

Mr. Phan also admitted that the coast line of Phuoc Thien Commune is naturally consumed by the sea by 1-2 metres every year. If another storm comes, this area could be completely gone.

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