Strongest-ever earthquake hits Quang Nam
Updated : 10/23/2012 09:18 GMT + 7
An earthquake, the strongest since 1957, occurred last night in Quang Nam Province’s Bac Tra My District, where the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant is located, panicking thousands of local residents.
A series of tremors measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale broke out in the district at 9:42 pm Monday and lasted for about three seconds, said Le Van Tuan, chief of the district People’s Committee’s Secretariat.
Thousands of locals rushed out of their houses in panic after they heard loud blasts and felt the ground shaking, houses’ walls cracking, and things inside the houses falling, Tuan said.
“Many items on a table in my house fell down to the floor and my children cried and screamed when hearing explosions that sounded like the sounds of bombings,” he said.
This quake could be felt by people living in districts nearby such as Nam Tra My, Tien Phuoc, Phuoc Son and Nong Son, he added.
Vu Duc Toan, deputy head of the Hydropower Management Board No. 3, said that the earthquake accelerator installed at the hydropower plant area indicated a ground acceleration of 98 cm/s2. This data has been reported to the Global Physics Institute.
The quake’s statistics are being handled by the Institute and the Earthquake Information and Tsunami Warning Center, Toan said.
Last night Dr Nguyen Hong Phuong, deputy director of the center, confirmed that the quake was 4.6 degrees and its epicenter was 7 km below ground.
This is the strongest quake to hit the area since 1957, the center said.
The second strongest quake in the area so far occurred on September 3, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale.
As previously reported, the first earthquake observation station in the district was put into operation on October 19. More than 20 quakes have occurred in the region in the past several months.
This is the first among five planned stations to be built in the district to monitor such quakes, which experts say have been induced by the plant’s reservoir, authorities said.
The station will record all seismic developments of any reservoir-induced earthquakes, irrespective of how minor they are, in the area, said Dr. Nguyen Xuan Anh, head of the Global Physics Institute.