An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale shook the area of Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant in central Quang Nam Province on Tuesday, the fourth over the past four days, local authorities said.
The latest quake, which is also the strongest that has happened since early this year, occurred at 6:05 am yesterday in Bac Tra My District where Song Tranh 2 is situated, panicking local residents in this mountainous area.
According to the Institute of Global Physics, the quake’s epicenter was located only 5.7 km underground. Ho Van Loi, chairman of the People’s Committee of Tra Doc Commune that was affected by the tremor, said that locals could clearly feel seismic shakes. Before the quake hit it, there was a heavy rain in the district that lasted for about one hour, local authorities reported. The quake occurred together with a loud explosion from underground and lasted for five to six seconds, shaking houses and other structures, Nguyen Hong Thanh, a local resident, told Dan Tri newswire. Meanwhile, Le Van Cuong, another resident, said the earthquake lasted longer, for about 10 seconds and many people rushed out of their houses in panic. After the incident, local authorities sent staff to the affected communes to ease people’s mind and assess damage. Nguyen Van Thanh, 52, a man in Tra Tap Commune, said residents are very worried as earthquakes have continuously rocked the area of the hydropower plant over the past several days. Earlier on July 5 and 6, two quakes, at 2.5 and 2.6 on the Richter scale, struck the region. Another quake also hit Que Son District nearby on July 7. There have been nearly 10 quakes in Bac Tra My since early June, local authorities said. Nonetheless, the Institute of Global Physics has yet to issue any recommendation to local people in coping with such consecutive earthquakes, said Huynh Ngoc Thieu, deputy head of the Bac Tra My Steering Board for Disaster Prevention, Control and Mitigation. The strongest quake that has ever struck Bac Tra My since 1957 happened on November 15, 2012, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale. The quake lasted for several seconds, with an epicenter located about 6 km underground, said the Institute of Global Physics. Thousands rushed out of their houses in panic after they heard loud blasts and felt the ground shaking, walls cracking, and items inside houses falling.