Coastal erosion, river bank erosion and landslides in the Mekong Delta: Causes, effects and solutions
The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is dissected by a dense system of natural rivers and manmade canals which are connected to the sea, and has a coastline of more than 700 km in length. In recent years, coastal erosion, river bank erosion and landslides have become more serious, and are considered as disasters because they have such severe impacts on the livelihoods of residents in the region. Flooding, heavy rainfall in the wet season, soft alluvial soils, extraction of sand from the Mekong River, and increasing river traffic are all factors contributing to riverbank erosion and landslides. Whereas, rising tides, strong waves, deforestation of coastal areas, and reduced sediment transport from upstream in the Mekong River (due to upstream dam construction) are the main factors contributing to coastal erosion. This paper will discuss causes, property damage and impacts on livelihoods caused by these disasters as well as the government’s solutions and people’s attitude to cope with them.
Keywordscoastal erosion river bank erosion landslide disaster Mekong Delta Vietnam
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The author gratefully acknowledges Dr. Barry Clough for very constructive comments and for reading the English manuscript.
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