|Project Details||Quang Ninh area supports about the 95% of coal production of Vietnam. This data has a terrible impact on the environment. For example, to support such amount of production, the area for open pit coal mines has increased in the last 50 years out of proportion. From 1969 to 1974, in the Cam Pha mine area, about 42% at the forest land was reduced. From 1985 to 1991 about 79 ha of agricultural land was fond. Every year, Cam Pha mines consume water estimated over 2.2 million m3 and discharges to the sea about 9 million m3 of mining water. Cam Pha city stores the biggest quantity of sludge from the mines, about 60 million to 70 million cubic metres per year. |
Torrential rains occurred in the northern province of Quang Ninh over the weekend of July 25-26, and caused flash floods in Ha Long, Dong Trieu, Uong Bi, Cam Pha, Van Don, and Hoanh Bo.
The floods and landslides that were triggered by the rainfall caused a number of deaths and resulted in widespread damage to houses, roads and other infrastructure. Viet Nam News reported that "the rainfall in Cam Pha township inundated many areas, such as National Road 18A and Cam Phu, Cam Son and Mong Duong wards, where water reached as high as the second floor of some houses." Authorities reported that 17 people had been killed in the floods and that a further six were missing. After only a short respite from the initial floods, heavy rain fell again - especially in Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Lang Son and Bac Giang Provinces.
Reports of damage to coal mines, coal infrastructure and coal storage at power plant. On July 31 it was reported that "a 3-meter long section of dam 790" which contained "sludge from coal mining" had collapsed, spilling its contents into Quang Ninh province’s Cam Pha City. The news report provided few details of the accident but stated that "repairs are underway and reinforcement measures have been taken to consolidate the dam."
It was also reported that the floods has caused substantial damage to coal mining operations and transport infrastructure to the extent that coal supplies to coal-fired power stations were at high risk of being curtailed.
"Following news of the flooding of coal waste through Cam Pha City concern was raised about the potential impacts of toxic pollution on residents, the local environment and the adjoining Ha Long Bay World Heritage site. The heavy rainfall and flooding events included the Cam Pha region, which has both coal mines and coal-fired power stations, as well as Cua Luc Bay which flows into Ha Long Bay. The area surrounding Cua Luc Bay includes a coal mine and both operating and proposed coal-fired power stations. Coal waste from mines and power stations can contain a wide array of materials dangerous to human health and the environment including heavy metals including arsenic, boron, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, selenium and thallium. The Waterkeeper Alliance expressed concern that industrial coal waste spread by the floods “threatened the safety of citizens, wildlife and the Ha Long Bay World Heritage Site.” The boundary of the Ha Long World Heritage site is approximately only ten kilometres from the Cam Pha coastline. (2) The Waterkeeper Alliance expressed alarm days after the disaster first came to light that there were new reports of "severe flooding inundating the Lang Khanh harbor area and Dien Vong river with fresh leakages from the Quang Ninh coal-fired power plant. " They noted that the Ha Long Bay is adjoined by 5,736 hectares of open pit coal mines and 3 existing coal fired power plants" (2).