The scene of a mountain landslide which buried at least 22 military personnel in Huong Phung Commune, Quang Tri Province at 1 a.m. October 18. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
A sudden mountain landslide buried at least 22 members of an army economic group in the central province of Quang Tri early Sunday.
The landslide hit an area of more than a hectare at around 1 a.m. Mountain rocks pummeled lodgings of the Army Economic Group 337 in Huong Phung Commune. The buildings accommodated many military officers and soldiers, said Ha Ngoc Duong, vice chairman of the commune.
“From 2 a.m. until now, there have been four to five landslides, exploding like bombs and it feels like the whole mountain is about to collapse,” Duong said.
Torrential downpours hampered rescue efforts in Huong Phung, and the mountain is likely to continue to slide, he added.
Five people have been rescued and at least 22 military personnel are suspected to be buried.
Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, Chief of the General Staff, said that Army Economic Group 337 belonged to Military Region 4. “Due to bad weather, those who participated in the search had to find safer rescue measures.”
Military Region 4 has been holding a memorial service for 13 martyrs who perished at ranger station 67 in Thua Thien-Hue Province while looking for missing workers at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in the province and dealing with the mountain landslide in Huong Phung Commune, Hung Hoa District, Quang Tri.
“Last night, I ordered all units in the area of Military Region 4, Military Region 5 to organize inspections to detect landslide risks, but the accident happened before we could finish,” Giang said.
Ha Sy Dong, Vice Chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee, said that the province has set up a command center in Huong Hoa District for rescue operations.
Currently, the Ho Chi Minh Highway’s western branch, which leads to Huong Phung Commune, has been seriously affected by the landslides.
Authorities sent excavators to the scene at 2 a.m. to clear the road.