In Vietnam: The Case of the Disappearing Beach

A few hundred metres from where I live is Mỹ Khê beach. Since I moved to Danang in August 2017, I’ve been running or walking on the beach most days. I head down a back lane, cross the busy main beach road, and down a short path to the beach. At the bottom of the path is a guard’s hut, which is primarily to prevent unwanted visitors entering the swanky resort just to the right of the path.

Just before APEC, last November 2017 (i.e.  2 months ago), I took this picture looking south. That part of the beach was roped off and guarded – many of the international delegates were staying at the resorts further down the beach. It was also just before Typhoon Damrey hit the Vietnam coast.

The second picture was taken a few weeks ago (late December), only about 6 weeks after the first picture. The erosion of the beach is dramatic. This doesn’t seem to be a seasonal event from what I can tell. Perhaps the damage caused by the typhoon has precipitated a sustained loss of sand, some sort of permanent lowering of the coastal shelf; or perhaps it’s a dramatic rise in sea level.

The third picture was taken a few days ago (mid January). The guard’s hut is now tottering, and previously buried sewage or water pipes are exposed to the waves.

 

To the south of the guard’s hut, large palm trees have been undermined and are falling into the sea:

I also used to be able to run north, up the beach from the hut, but now, even at low tide, the waves cover the beach, as shown in the photo below. A number of bars, restaurants and cafes along the beach are threatened with inundation, especially if another typhoon or wild storm hits this coast.

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Copyright Mike Hopkins 2018

 

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5 thoughts on “In Vietnam: The Case of the Disappearing Beach

    • It is scary David, especially the speed at which it’s happening. The businesses along that part of the beach are already closing. It’s hard to be sure, but it doesn’t seem as if the local authorities are concerned about it, not that you can do much to halt nature I suppose.

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