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Quake prompts probe at hydropower plant

Update: September, 20/2012 - 10:42

 

Cracks have appeared in the Hoa Phuong Kindergarten in Bac Tra My District in central Quang Nam Province following a series of earth tremors. — VNS Photo
QUANG NAM (VNS)— Inspectors have been sent to the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in the central province of Quang Nam's Bac Tra My District to check on any damage caused by a series of recent earth tremors.

Five tremors were reported to hit the plant on Monday and Tuesday.

Deputy chairman of the district's People's Committee Tran Anh Tuan said that since the third of this month, about 20 similar earthquakes have hit the area.

The strongest recorded was a vibration of 4.2 degree on the Richter Scale and created cracks in many houses and schools in the district, said Tuan.

Though there were no injuries or causalities, the earthquakes left 17 houses and three buildings damaged and in need of urgent repairs.

More than 20,000 people live in vulnerable areas downstream from the dam, located in the district, on the Tranh River.

The inspection group, headed by the district's Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control, has 34 members from the district people's committee, commune and town leaders in the district and representatives from the hydroelectricity project No 3 management board.

The district authorities have asked for financial support from the provincial People's Committee and the Electricity of Viet Nam to handle the damage. It has already earmarked VND100 million (US$4,760) from the local budget for repairing work.

The district Military Commander had submitted its plan on evacuating residents from dangerous areas to the district People's Committee for approval, said Tuan.

Meanwhile, the provincial People's Committee agreed to supply the district with 100 tonnes of rice to support residents living in the Song Tranh 2 Hydroelectricity Plant's resettlement areas.

The Quang Nam People's Committee proposed a thorough study of safety at the Song Tranh 2 Hydroelectricity Plant, and urged careful consideration of water storage in the plant's reservoirs.

Earlier, experts from the Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre said that the tremors were not unusual, as minor tremors were caused by the construction and operation of hydropower plants around the world.

The document also asked the Ministry of Science and Technology to conduct research on earthquake in the district and neighbouring area this year.

Earthquake observatory stations should be set up to ensure safety at the Song Tranh 2 Hydroelectricity Plant, the document said.

The Electricity of Viet Nam should be prompt to set up a scheme on preventing floods and coping with consequences in case of breaches in the dam. — VNS

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