Residents of Phuoc Dong commune in Nha Trang, Vietnam, have ignored warnings and rebuilt their houses that were destroyed by landslides.
Local media reported that the residents acknowledged the risks, but pointed out they were desperate as local authorities failed to provide any solutions for resettlements since the disaster late in 2018, Viet Nam News reported.
Landslides in Phuoc Dong Commune in November destroyed more than 140 houses. Locals had to evacuate the area and rent houses in neighboring communes for months, but that proved to be ineffective in the long run as people could not afford the high rent.
Nguyen Van Hung, one of the residents of the commune, said houses had to be rebuilt because rent became unaffordable and school fees were also becoming a concern.
Residents of the commune built houses illegally for years on the mountainside. Authorities in Nha Trang offered each household 4.5 million Dong (US$200) to move out after the landslides and to not return. However, reports suggest that only 39 households received the money.
A resident named Nguyen Thi Hoa said the money was only enough for two months of rent. Nguyen’s family ignored the danger warnings and returned to their old place.
Comune vice-chairman Bui Cao Phap said illegal buildings had existed in the area long before the disaster and the authorities had difficulties getting rid of them. A new residential area to help the residents settle down had been announced by the Nha Trang government.