|The Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant. — VNS Photo
QUANG NAM (VNS) — An earthquake struck the Tra Doc commune near the Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant in central Quang Nam Province yesterday, the commune's chairman Ho Van Loi told Viet Nam News.
"An earthquake occurred around 5.30am today. It shook the commune for a few seconds, but no serious damage has been reported so far," he confirmed yesterday.
"It's the fourth earthquake in the area since early this month and had greater magnitude than the previous three quakes which measured 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 on the Richter scale," Loi said. He added that he did not receive any information about the tremors from the Ha Noi-based Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre (ETWC) under the Institute of Geophysics.
Deputy Director of ETWC Nguyen Hong Phuong said that the 3.6 magnitude quake had its epicenter at a depth of 5.7 kilometres and was the strongest of the four earthquakes that hit the Bac Tra My district in July.
The people living in the three communes of Tra Doc, Tra Bui and Tra My, located six kilometers from the Song Tranh hydropower plant, felt the tremors.
In a meeting two years ago, experts had concluded that the series of tremors hitting the area was due to seismic activity caused by the water stored in the hydropower plant reservoir.
Experts from the institute also confirmed that the magnitude of the earthquakes had not exceeded the limits of the reservoir's ability to withstand quakes.
About 25 tremors were recorded near the hydropower plant's location from October 3 to November 16 in 2012.
The biggest quake recorded so far was an earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale two years ago. It affected 13 districts and townships in Quang Nam and damaged more than 1,000 houses and 20 public sites.
Deputy Manager of the Song Tranh hydropower plant project Vu Duc Toan said the plant would be secure even if quakes of more than 5.5 magnitude occur.
The Bac Tra My district, 52 kilometres from Quang Nam's capital Tam Ky, is home to over 20,000 people living in five communes. — VNS