Hydropower plant drowns kids

vietnamnews

Update: May, 27/2017 – 09:48

A hydropower plant in the central province of Phú Yên that opened its floodgates without warning caused the death of four students in the downstream area earlier this week, officials reported.— Photo vietnammoi.vn

PHÚ YÊN — A hydropower plant in the central province of Phú Yên that opened its floodgates without warning caused the death of four students in the downstream area earlier this week, officials reported.

The man-made flood in the current dry season was characterised as “unseen in 40 years” by Cao Minh Hoà, deputy secretary of Sơn Hoà District’s Party Committee.

The remark was made in a meeting with inspection group sent by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to hydropower plant Ba Hạ River, a member of the state-owned Việt Nam Electricity (EVN), following the May 24 incident.

As there was unexpected rain, plant operators decided to discharge its reservoir to generate electricity; however, it failed to notify people in the downstream areas, as is required when its floodgates are opened when there’s perceived threat of the spillway overflowing.

According to Tô Xuân Bảo, Deputy Director of MoIT’s Industry Safety Techniques and Environment Agency, the plant’s electricity generating activity was conducted “according to existing protocols,” except for the failure to send an advanced warning.

“Therefore, a forewarning system must be installed, to prevent similar unfortunate incidents from taking place,” Bảo said.

On May 24, at about 8am, a group of seven 6th-grade students from Củng Sơn Secondary School in Sơn Hoà District swam in the Thá waterfall downstream of the Ba River. The first four students to swim were swept away by the sudden rush of water, the remaining three called rescue forces to the scene.

According to the survivors, seeing the approaching waters, the four panicked and tried to make it to the riverbank but failed.

The hydropower plant was asked to immediately close its floodgates for rescue forces to salvage the bodies. By yesterday morning, all four bodies were found.

Ba Hạ River Hydropower Plant’s report said that at the time of the incident, the volume of discharged water from the plant reached up to 360 cubic metres a second.

The drowning was just the latest example of a series of incidents of hydropower plants releasing water in an irresponsible manner, causing devastation in downstream areas and raising public concerns on the safety of these plants. — VNS

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This entry was posted in Năng lượng nước - Hydropwer and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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