Quakes hit hydropower plant and crack dam
VIETNAM – A series of tremors, along with underground explosions that were heard from above and caused walls to crack, occurred yesterday in the area of the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in Quang Nam Province’s Bac Tra My District. Experts at the plant are analyzing data collected from earthquake observation stations in the area but have yet to announce how powerful the quake was on the Richter scale, said Tran Van Hai, head of the Management Board of Hydropower Project 3. The incident happened from 7 to 9 pm Monday at the Bac Tra My Town and several communes nearby, causing thousands of locals to rush out of their houses in panic after they heard loud blasts and found the ground shaken, houses’ walls cracked and things inside the houses falling. Ho Van Loi, chairman of the Tra Doc commune People’s Committee said his house’s floor was shaken five times during last night, with the most powerful seismic intensity occurring at 9 pm. Such quakes have taken place continuously in the past five days in Bac Tra My, but the one last night has been the strongest since the hydropower plant began storing water in its reservoir, Dang Phong, chairman of the District People’s Committee, said. “Residents are very worried about their safety. We will report the situation at the meeting scheduled on September 4 between district authorities and the Ministry of Construction to discuss measures to prevent leakage at the plant’s dam,” Phong said. As previously reported, residents in the downstream area of the hydropower plant have been living in fear after cracks and water leakage were found in the dam of the plant, whose reservoir could contain 730 million cubic meters of water and is among the largest in central Vietnam.