Nguyen Van Dung, 42, noticed on Thursday that cracks in the walls and gates of his house on 18th Street were beginning to spread. They were first discovered about a week ago.
Two cracks running through her kitchen walls, each more than 5m long, are expanding every day.
Dung’s floors have also sunk into the soft ground, and his house’s new catawampus angles don’t allow his doors to close properly.
About 10 meters from Dung’s house, the walls of Cong Thanh’s house are also cracked and the steps leading to the house have sunk into the ground. From the exterior, you can see that Thanh’s house is now tilted, with the house’s diagonal lines reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss illustration. There are 5-6 cm gaps between the house and the neighboring structure, which were once flush.
“We fear that the structurally weak house could collapse at any time,” Thanh said.
Other houses on the same street are in similar situations.
The structures are all located near the construction site of a stormwater drainage system on Luong Dinh Cua Street in An Khanh district. The project, led by a consortium comprising Hai Duong Rural Development and Dyke Stone Construction Company and Ban Hin Electrical Technology and Construction Company, began in September 2019.
Le Van Dien, head of the project management committee, blamed the robots used to dig the system, which is about 10 meters deep. He said the machines had caused “disturbance in the basement”.
Combined with the fact that the area was once a swamp, he explained, the ground foundations became unstable and prone to subsidence. Several of the houses now in ruins were also built “a long time ago” without foundations, which contributed to the sinking, he added.
To resolve the problem, the units have inspected homes and will monitor the situation until October 1, before planning solutions for individual cases.
A representative of the An Khanh Neighborhood People’s Committee said that for steeply inclined houses, authorities recommended that families move temporarily until the problem is resolved.
In August, a seawall construction site also caused homes belonging to more than 50 families in District 8 to crack and collapse due to tremors.