Heaving rains and floods in Quang Ninh province have washed away coal supplies into local streams, where people are risking their lives to find it.
Hundreds of people in Cam Son and Cam Phu communes in Cam Pha city, Quang Ninh province, have headed to B5-12 stream to collect coal after recent major flooding washed millions of cubic meters of coal out of the storage facilities of local coal companies.
Over the last three days, 600 to 800 millimeters of rain has fallen in the Quang Ninh area, collapsing houses and triggering landslides. Eighteen people have died and six are missing.
Despite warnings from Cam Pha city authorities, about 100 people have been hunting for coal. The stream is so deep that they must dive deep into the black water to collect it.
They are very much at risk from potential fatal injury from debris in the stream. Yet they continue, with some hiring excavators and trucks to extract the coal and take it home.
Some people have rented vacuum equipment to collect tiny pieces of coal from the stream bed. On July 27 and 28 thousands of tonnes were collected. The rain has eased and the floods receded, but heavy rain is again expected over the next couple of days.
Landslides have been common, in what is the worst flooding in the province for 40 years.