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Quake leaves hydro power plant unscathed

Update: November, 17/2012 - 11:25


Construction experts have determined that the Song Tranh Hydro-power Plant was safe after a quake on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
QUANG NAM (VNS)— The Song Tranh Hydro-power Plant remained safe after a quake hit a nearby area in central Quang Nam Province on Thursday, a delegation from the construction ministry led by Minister Trinh Dinh Dung agreed after visiting the plant yesterday.

The 4.7 Richter magnitude earthquake - the strongest of 20 such quakes this year - struck an area 5km upstream from the Bac Tra My District plant, leaving cracks in several houses.

Water resources and dam experts found nothing abnormal with the dam and operating turbines, but they also warned that more technical checks were needed to assure the plant's safety.

Minister Dung also visited a family affected by the quake in Tra Tan Commune.

At a working session with the minister, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee Dinh Van Thu said the locality had instructed vulnerable residents about how to deal with earthquakes.

However, he added, the increasing intensity of the quakes had worried local authorities and residents.

They hoped to get answers from scientists about what was causing the quakes. Many blamed them on water storage in the plant reservoir.

Recently, continuous earthquakes prompted the Government to order a halt to water storage.

Minister Dung said people's safety always came first.

He called for further support from various bodies in assisting local people and suggested inviting foreign experts to assess the dam's safety.

The water leakage from the plant had been fixed, said Pham Le Thanh, general director of Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), one of the main investors in the plant. EVN was also working with the province to allocate land to affected families so they could continue production. — VNS

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