Hydropower plant blamed for flooding crops
  • | NLD, | March 31, 2015 03:55 PM
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A hydropower plant in Thua Thien Hue Province has been blamed for an unexpected discharge of water that flooded hundred of hectares of crops.


Rice fields seriously flooded

Huong Dien hydropower plant started to discharge water from March 27, causing serious flooding that, by March 30, had seriously affected rice paddies and other crops in the communes of Quang Vinh, Quang Tho and Quang An as well Sia town in Quang Dien District.

Hoang Vong, deputy director of the district Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the cost of the damage had yet to be calculated.

“Around 213ha of rice crops may be saved but the productivity may be down between 30 and 40 percent, while the rest of flooded rice fields may be entirely lost,” said Vong.

On the first day when the hydropower plant discharging water, at least 800ha of rice fields and 32ha of other crops were flooded.

Phan Thanh Hung, chief of the provincial steering committee for flood and storm prevention and control’s office, said, “Even though we were aware of the consequences in the lower land areas, we were compelled to discharge water in order to prevent a possible dam breakdown.”

Tran Kim Thanh, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the hydropower plant had been following standard safety procedures, and the discharge was necessary due to unexpected heavy rainfall.

 But Phan Van Hoa, deputy director of the provincial Hydrometeorology Forecasting Station, said the rain had been forecast and other measures should have been taken.

“It’s not exact to claim that the hydropower plant was compelled to discharge water due to the lack of proper information about weather forest,” said Hoa.

Hung said the hydropower plant must inform local authorities and people living in the lower land areas about any plan to discharge water six hours in advance of opening the floodgates, but district authorities say they were only told two hours in advance and communal authorities got one hour's notice.

Do Duc Quang, director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Hydropower Department, said Huong Dien hydropower plant’s managers informed local authorities about the plan, but it was up to communal authorities to investigate.

He said if the hydropower plant failed to strictly follow the standard water discharging process it must be held accountable.

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