Many old houses in the central city of Hoi An are damaged by termites. Photo by VnExpress / Ha Thanh.
Following social distancing from Covid-19 last year, hundreds of relics across Hoi An, a UNESCO heritage site, have been heavily damaged by termites.
A survey by local authorities of nearly 800 relics shows that more than 260 old houses in the districts of Minh An, Cam Pho and Son Phong suffered severe termite damage to their pillars, trusses, doors, walls, etc. ceilings, wooden floors and diaphragms.
Pham Phu Ngoc, director of the Hoi An Center for the Management and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, said on Tuesday that the situation posed a huge security risk as most of Hoi An’s relics are made of wood.
Moisture caused by closures during months of social distancing last year and a series of storms and floods have created the perfect conditions for termites to thrive.
The first signs of termite activity are difficult to detect because they penetrate from the bottom up, causing damage to the interior of a structure, Ngoc said.
“Termites are one of the reasons for the rapid degradation of the relics. Pest control measures in Hoi An have been approved by the People’s Council, aimed at exterminating the termite mounds and preventing their return or possible spread,” he said. he added.
From 2010 to 2012, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Quang Nam Province, in collaboration with the Hoi An Center for the Management and Preservation of Cultural Heritage and the Institute of Ecology and protection of the works, coordinated a termite prevention project, which was subsequently hampered by continued flooding.