Vietnam’s National Assembly has postponed its plans to debate the Son La hydro dam project in its current session. Authorities in Hanoi said that the US$4B project needed more study before any decision can be made.

The proposed dam, to be located in a seismic zone on the Da river, west of Hanoi, has sparked controversy due to fears over its safety, as well as the need to relocate a number of ethnic minority groups from the areas to be flooded by the reservoir.

The proposal, which has already been scaled down, is expected to submerge 27,000ha and involve the relocation of some 80,000 people.