Series of earthquakes shake northern Vietnam

By Hong Chieu, Gia Chinh   March 3, 2023 | 12:09 am PT
Series of earthquakes shake northern Vietnam
A glass frame falls to the ground and shatters at the Pa U Commune kindergarten in Lai Chau, following an earthquake on March 3, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
Northern Vietnam's Lai Chau and Vinh Phuc provinces were rocked by two earthquakes early Friday morning.

The first earthquake measured 4.4 on the Richter Scale, happened at around 4:50 a.m. in Lai Chau's Muong Te District. The second one, which measured 3.2 on the Richter scale, happened at 8:09 a.m. in Vinh Phuc’s Yen Lac District.

Both epicenters were located around 16 kilometers underground, according to the Earthquake Information and Tsunami Warning Center.

At the Muong Te epicenter, locals could feel vibrations that lasted around 10 seconds.

"The walls at the kindergarten of Pa U Commune were cracked," said Ly Phi Gia, chairman of Pa U.

Lai Chau is located on multiple geological faults, which explains its higher earthquake frequency. The strongest one, which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale in 1983, caused houses to crack and sink into the ground. The latest earthquakes happened in June 2020, causing cracked houses and patches of a school ceiling to fall down, injuring four students.

Vinh Phuc rarely experiences earthquakes. The largest one was recorded in 1958 with a magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale.

Nguyen Xuan Anh, head of the institute, said the earthquake in Vinh Phuc was just 25 kilometers outside Hanoi, but it did not affect the area much due to its low magnitude.

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