Quang Nam quakes are reservoir-induced: experts
Updated : 09/14/2012 12:16 GMT + 7
After several days of investigation, experts have concluded that the series of tremors which hit Quang Nam Province’s Bac Tra My District in recent times were induced by the reservoir of the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant.
The conclusion was released at yesterday’s meeting, in which a group of scientists from the Global Physics Institute and the Vietnam Earthquake Information and Tsunami Warning Center informed provincial authorities about the results of their survey related to earthquakes in the area.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Construction, the Electricity Group of Vietnam and independent designing and consulting units.
Scientists confirmed that the plant is located far from the Hung Nhuong-Tai Vi fault, which was previously thought to be related to continuous tremors in the plant area. In fact, the recent quakes were only reservoir-induced seismic activity.
Induced seismic activity refers to typically minor earthquakes and tremors that are caused by human activity that alters the stresses and strains on the Earth's crust, experts explained.
Among these induced quakes, at least two measured 4.2 on the Richter scale but the plant’s dam is still in safe condition. However, the recent quakes have panicked residents who are very worried for their safety, after at least 17 houses were damaged, the experts said.
Therefore, many attendants of the meeting required that concerned agencies issue guidance to local residents to provide them with instructions about dos and don’ts in case of an earthquake, in order to protect themselves and minimize damage to property.
EVN also said it would grant a budget for installing quake observation stations in the district to serve the need of earthquake studies by scientists, not only for the sake of the hydropower plant but for the safety of the district and its surrounding areas as well.
As previously reported, the equipment for safety observation for the plant's damp, imported from Canada by Hanoi-based Techcom Life Technologies in early June, has yet to get through customs clearance at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport.
The airport customs office has refused to carry out import formalities for the equipment since the importer, who is also the contractor that provides observation equipment to the plant, has yet to clear its tax debt for some other previously-imported products.
After a request from EVN and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Finance Ministry has directed airport customs to give clearance to the equipment if the importer meets certain conditions.
Hoang Viet Cuong, deputy head of the General Department of Customs, yesterday told Tuoi Tre that Techcom Life Technologies had yet to contact the airport customs to proceed with customs clearance of the equipment.
A teacher at the Hoa Phuong Preschool in Bac Tra My District points at the wall of a classroom that has been heavily damaged in one of the recent quakes. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
A land subsidence at the foot of the hydropower plant's dam after the September 3 tremor (Photo: Tuoi Tre)