Magnitude 3.4 earthquake strikes in central Vietnam

By VnExpress   October 17, 2016 | 01:53 pm GMT+7
Magnitude 3.4 earthquake strikes in central Vietnam
The Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in Bac Tra My District, Quang Nam Province. The plant was suspected of causing underground explosions and minor earthquakes in the district several years ago. Photo by VnExpress/Tri Tin

No casualties have been reported, but locals are getting shaky about increased seismic activity.

The central province of Quang Nam was hit by two earthquakes measuring between 3.1 and 3.4 on the Richter scale on Saturday morning, according to a statement by the Institute of Geophysics.

One earthquake occurred at 8.21 a.m. in Phuoc Son District and lasted a few seconds, the report said.

The epicenter was said to be at a depth of 11 kilometers.

About 10 minutes later, another earthquake was recorded in the province’s Tay Giang District, with the epicenter also at a depth of 10 kilometers.

There has been no confirmation of casualties or damage.

The institute warned that these levels and durations of seismic activity could have damaged buildings. Experts at the Hanoi-based Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre under the Institute of Geophysics are keeping their eyes on possible further seismic activity in Quang Nam Province.

Local people said the earthquakes sounded like explosions and that they were worried about the increasing frequency of earthquakes in the area.

Over the past few years, Quang Nam Province has experienced several earthquakes which seismologists believe were triggered by hydropower reservoirs.

According to scientists, the extra water pressure has created fissures in the ground water under a reservoir. When the pressure of the water increases, it acts to lubricate faults which are already under tectonic strain but are prevented from slipping by the friction of the rock surfaces.

Seismologists said Vietnam’s geographic location near fault lines put it at risk from moderate earthquakes.

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