A magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook Kon Plong, a mountainous district of Kon Tum Province in Vietnam's Central Highlands, on Tuesday afternoon. Eleven more aftershocks were recorded hours later.
The 4.7 magnitude recorded at 2:08 pm on the Richter scale was the strongest earthquake to ever hit Kon Tum, resulting to tremors in neighboring provinces of Gia Lai, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, and Da Nang, according to the reports from local media.
A total of 11 aftershocks have followed, ranging from 2.5 to 2.9 magnitudes. The latest happened at 1:21 am on Wednesday. As reported by the district officials, the strong shaking caused buildings and houses in Kon Plong's Dak Ring Commune to collapse. As of this writing, no casualties were reported.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for the provinces of Kon Tum and Quang Nam to work closely and make specific assessments of the damages brought by the earthquake.
The Ministry of Science and Technology was tasked to coordinate with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to determine the cause of the latest earthquake series, estimate the risk levels and propose response solutions.
This is not the first time Kon Plong experienced earthquakes. In April this year, the district recorded 14 earthquakes within three days since the first shake happened. The strongest was at 4.5 magnitude.
Large reservoirs cause the earthquakes in Kon Plong. The Institute for Geophysics in Hanoi said the culprit in the April earthquake was the operation of water reservoirs. This phenomenon is defined as Reservoir-induced Seismicity that is mainly dependent on excessive water pressure created in the micro-cracks and fissures in the foundation units under and near the reservoir.