The Hanoi People's Committee identifies ten possible disasters

The risks include radioactive dust from three nuclear power plants in southern China, damages to a dyke on the Red River, as well as fires, explosions and collapses affecting about 1,600 obsolete apartment buildings. Authorities also fear the fall of an elevated trains on city streets.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Hanoi People's Committee (City Council) has identified ten dangers that could cause disasters in the city. They include fires, pollution, transport, health and nuclear power plants.

Local authorities today approved a plan to manage and mitigate risks to the capital that includes faster response time in the event of a catastrophe.

One of the risks identified is radioactive dust from three nuclear power stations located in southern China, which could pollute the city's air and water sources.

The plants – a 1,000-megawatt plant in Guangxi, a 600-megawatt plant in Guangdong and a 650-megawatt plant on Hainan Island – are located near the northern border of Vietnam and became operational in 2016.

The one in Guangxi is just 50 kilometres from Móng Cái, a city in Quảng Ninh province, which is less than 500 kilometres from Hanoi.

“Hanoi would be one of the most severely affected northern localities if any of the three plants were to leak radiation,” the plan says.

Another disaster scenario considers the possibility of damages to the Red River dyke. If the water level exceeds the third warning level (11.5 m), it would threaten millions of people and cause extensive material damage.

The authorities also highlighted the risk of fires, explosions and the potential collapse of about 1,600 obsolete apartment buildings in the city, in addition to road accidents caused by the fall of elevated trains.

Over the years, Hanoi has often been affected by various natural disasters. The 1971 flood, which saw the water level in the Red River delta reach 14.3 m, broke three dykes, killed 100,000 people, and affected more than 2.7 million.

In 2008, five days of rain (pictured) caused flooding with human losses and damages to property worth more than 3 trillion VND (US0.5 million).