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Three more earthquakes hit Vietnam’s Kon Tum Province

Three more earthquakes hit Vietnam’s Kon Tum Province

Thursday, April 21, 2022, 15:56 GMT+7
Three more earthquakes hit Vietnam’s Kon Tum Province
A map shows the location of the epicenter (red star) of the earthquake in Kon Plong District, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam’s Central Highlands at 0:55 on April 21, 2022. Photo: The Institute of Geophysics

Kon Plong, a mountainous district of Kon Tum Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, experienced three more tremors of magnitudes 2.5 to 3.2 early Thursday morning, according to Institute of Geophysics.

The quakes, the latest among over 20 recorded in the district since April 15, took place between 0:55 and 4:12 am, at a depth of about eight kilometers, the institute’s Vietnam Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Center said. 

These earthquakes did not pose any disaster risk, the center said, adding that it was continuing to observe related developments.

On Wednesday, Kon Plong was shaken by a magnitude-2.5 quake and earlier on Monday, the district was rocked by seven tremors including one with a magnitude of 4.5, the strongest ever in the area, the center reported.

On April 15, six quakes with a magnitude of 2.9 to 4.1 hit the area, with three of them in the early morning and the other three in the evening. 

The earthquake frequency in the district has surged since April 2021, said Nguyen Xuan Anh, director of the institute.

The three latest tremors bring the total number of quakes in the area to 173, more than five times the tally recorded from 1903 to 2020, Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper cited the institute’s statistics. 

The areas where the earthquakes happened in Kon Tum are located on the Rao Quan - A Luoi fault system, which starts in Laos and stretches until the south-central province of Binh Dinh’s Quy Nhon City, said Cao Dinh Trieu, former deputy head of the Institute of Geophysics.

In addition to geological faults, recent earthquakes in the district might be partially due to the water storage of the Thuong Kon Tum Hydropower Plant, like in the case of a series of earthquakes that happened near Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in central Quang Nam Province in 2011, with the biggest tremor reached a magnitude of 4.7, Anh said.

There may be more earthquakes in Kon Plong in the future, with a magnitude of up to 5.5 or even higher, the official warned.

In June 2021, the institute set up an additional observation station in the district to detect dangerous geological phenomena and thereby release corresponding warnings, he added.

In a dispatch issued on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh requested the institute to continue observing and monitoring earthquakes in Kon Plong, and promptly notify relevant agencies and locals of seismic developments for proactive and timely response.

The Ministry of Transport, Industry, and Trade as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development must take measures to ensure the safety of hydroelectric lakes and dams, and irrigation and traffic infrastructure works in the area, Thanh said.

He also asked authorities to equip locals with knowledge and skills to minimize damage and avoid panics in case of strong earthquakes.

Vietnam has so far recorded three detrimental quakes, which occurred in northern Dien Bien Province in 1935, 1983, and 2001 with a magnitude of 6.9, 6.7, and 5.3, respectively, according to official statistics.

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Vinh Tho - Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre News


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