THANH HÓA — More than 100 reservoirs and dams across the northern province of Thanh Hóa are not safe ahead the upcoming flood season, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned.
The province has 610 reservoirs, 1,023 spillways, 885 pumping stations and 14 large drains that take daily wastewater to rivers.
The department has ruled that 131 local reservoirs in 16 districts and towns do not meet safety standards. The flood season runs from July to October.
Of the unsafe reservoirs, 124 were reported unsafe in 2018 and seven others were discovered during this year’s pre-flood inspections.
The agricultural and rural development department asked local people’s committees to inspect irrigation works before the rainy season and report back to the department. — Photo dantri.com.vn
Most spillways in the province have small capacities and an average height of about five metres. Many were not constructed solidly enough to withstand heavy rain or flooding, and were easily damaged or washed away.
Thirty-six spillways in six districts were partly damaged during the 2018 flood season. Fourteen were in Lang Chánh District, 13 in Ngọc Lặc, five in Quan Hoa, three in Như Xuân and one in Như Thanh.
Mostly built in the 1980s, pumping stations (including drainage and irrigation stations) were designed with low capacities and now have outdated machinery and equipment.
These stations have not been upgraded due to a lack of funding, resulting in poor performance, reduced capacity and high energy consumption.
On March 21, the department issued an official dispatch to direct the people’s committees of districts and companies that manage irrigation works to inspect them before the start of the flood season.
Speaking with dantri.com.vn online newspaper, a department official said that as of April 10, nine units had submitted inspection reports. The same day, the department requested all units (including local people’s committees and management companies) submit their updated reported by April 12.
However, only 25 of the 30 units have sent reports to the department.
The department requested Sông Chu Co., Ltd and the people’s committees of Quảng Xương, Nga Sơn, Quan Sơn and Mường Lát districts complete their inspections before the rainy season begins and submit their findings quickly.
Provinces will invest in repairing and upgrading irrigation works to ensure safety, with a focus on repairing reservoirs and small dams.
Provinces will provide funds to build databases of reservoirs, especially small reservoirs, to ensure access to updated information needed for management and operation of the works and for flood prevention.
The department has directed localities to develop disaster and emergency response plans for reservoirs.
It also told localities to run trials of pumping stations, drains and flood discharge systems of reservoirs to ensure they are functioning properly. VNS