Strongest quake ever hits Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant

A powerful earthquake shook the area around the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in Quang Nam Province at 2.24pm on November 15, sending residents scurrying in the province and in some areas in the neighboring province of Quang Ngai and Da Nang City.

A powerful earthquake on November 15 in Bac Tra My District in Quang Nam Province sent local residents scurrying outdoors (Photo: SGGP)

According to the Geophysics Institute, the quake measured 4.7 on the Richter scale, but residents and leaders in Bac Tra My District believe it was much stronger than ever before.

Dang Phong, chairman of the People’s Committee in Bac Tra My District, said that the conclusion of the Geophysics Institute was not convincing as the quake was definitely much stronger than the 4.6 magnitude quake that occurred on October 22.

All schools in Bac Tra My Town immediately shut down for safety reasons and hundreds of parents rushed to schools to pick up their children. All offices and administrative work came to a standstill soon after. 

Phan Tan Thuan, a local resident, said that he was at home when dishes and utensils went flying around, the house seemed to spin and the corrugated roof sheeting began to flap for about ten seconds. He rushed out onto the street in panic, where other residents seemed to have also collected.

The quake not only shook Quang Nam Province but was also felt in great intensity in the neighboring province of Quang Ngai and Da Nang City which is located 150km from the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant. Office workers in Da Nang City felt their buildings sway for at least five seconds.

Hundreds of people fled their houses in Tra Xuan Town, Quang Ngai City, and Ba To, Tay Tra and Son Ha Districts in Quang Ngai Province.

Tran Van Suong, deputy chairman of Tra Bong District, said that the tremor may have lasted for 3-5 seconds.

Tens of households in Son Thuong Commune of Son Ha District collected their belongings and food supplies to leave their villages to camp temporarily in the mountain nearby and have already pitched tents.

Immediately after the quake, authorities in Bac Tra My District examined the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant dam and reported no untoward signs of damage or danger.

Trinh Dinh Dung, Minister of Construction, chaired an urgent meeting with experts and relevant organs to discuss any emergency measures to undertake, as a result of the quake.

According to the management board of the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant, they have examined the plant dam and did not find any reasons for concern for the safety of the dam.

Minister Dung has asked the National Council for Assessment and Acceptance of Construction Works and Vietnam Electricity, investor of the Song Tranh 2 Plant, to visit each and every household and assist in damage repair in the worst hit areas in Bac Tra My District.

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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