|The earthquake occurred at 2.37 pm, Thursday, at a depth of 12km in Sa Dung Commune, Điện Biên Đông District (marked by the red line). – Photo: Google Maps|
HÀ NỘI – A 3.9 magnitude earthquake hit the northwestern province of Điện Biên on Thursday afternoon but caused no damage, the Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre said.
The quake occurred at 2.37pm at a depth of 12km in Sa Dung Commune, Điện Biên Đông District.
The earthquake measured scale 5 on the MSK-64 scale, which means “fairly strong” and lasted for about three seconds.
"As the intensity of the quake was fairly strong, residents in the centre of Điện Biên Phủ City, some 30km away from the epicentre, also felt slight tremors. If the epicentre had been in a populated area, it would have resulted in slight damage to houses and infrastructure,” Nguyễn Thái Sơn, head of Điện Biên Phủ City’s Seismic Monitoring Station, said.
The past 10 days have seen various low-intensity earthquakes being reported at different localities in northern and central Việt Nam.
On Wednesday, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake hit Võ Nhai District in northern Thái Nguyên Province at a depth of 10km.
From August 15 to 22, Hà Quảng District in northern Cao Bằng Province, an area in the East Sea 90km off the coast of central Quảng Trị Province, and Hạ Long City in northeastern Quảng Ninh Province were also hit by earthquakes of below 2.8 magnitudes.
Nguyễn Xuân Anh, head of the Institute of Geophysics which governs the Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre, said all recent quakes were normal, of low scale and did not affect people’s lives.
“The centre is monitoring the earthquakes and will issue warnings when an earthquake of above 5.0 magnitude occurs,” he said.
An earthquake is a rare occurrence in Việt Nam. In the 20th century, the country recorded two large earthquakes, both in current Điện Biên Province -- 6.75 magnitude in 1935 and 6.8 magnitude in 1983. However, no heavy damage was recorded. – VNS