Viet Nam’s geographic location near several fault lines puts it at risk for moderate to severe earthquakes, according to seismologists.
Last month, six small earthquakes were reported in the central A Luoi region in Thua Thien Hue Province. Prior to that, a quake on May 15, 2014 measured 4.7 on the Richter scale.
Professor Cao Dinh Trieu, an expert on earthquakes, said A Luoi is located in a fault region. The fault runs from northwest to southeast, starting in Laos and running through Thua Thien Hue Province to Binh Dinh Province in central Viet Nam.
Agreeing with Professor Trieu, Professor Phan Trong Trinh, chairman of the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology, said the fault in Thua Thien Hue was blamed for a series of tremors in the A Luoi region.
In addition, according to scientists from the Viet Nam Federation of Geology, a moderate earthquake registering 5.7 on the Richter scale may occur in Thua Thien-Hue Province in the future.
Many Vietnamese scientists who specialise in seismic forecasts said a major quake measuring more than 7 on the Richter scale may hit the northwestern region in the future.
They said several faults, particularly the Dien Bien and Song Da faults along the Ca River, have a tendency to gradually shift towards the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) and south central region. These are obvious indications that Viet Nam is likely to be hit by strong quakes, which are often accompanied by a tsunami warning.
In 1935, a quake measuring 6.75 on the Richter scale hit Dien Bien Province, caused by the Song Ma fault. In 1983, another quake measuring 6.8 was reported in the Tuan Giao area of Dien Bien Province. Those two quakes caused extensive damage to personal property.
Although the consequences of earthquakes that hit Viet Nam have not been serious in terms of human lives or property, adverse weather in recent years has raised alarms for Viet Nam. Scientists warned that reliable and precise predictions of earthquakes and tsunamis are needed in order to prepare for the worst-case scenario.