December 5, 2021, 5:50 pm

Director describes possible earthquake, tsunami scenarios

(10:38:58 AM 14/08/2014)
( - Dr. Nguyen Hong Phuong, deputy director of the Earthquake Report and Tsunami Warning Center, an arm of the Geophysics Institute, talks about possible earthquake and tsunami scenarios in Vietnam.



Q: Chinese, Taiwanese and Filipino scientists have warned of the risk of serious earthquakes and tsunami in the area from the Manila Trench in the East Sea. What do you think about the warning?


A: They are completely right and Vietnam has also published a simulated tsunami scenario in the Manila Trench in prestigious international science journals.


Under the scenario, after two hours of going through the East Sea, the tsunami would attack Vietnam’s central coast and other locations across the strip of land. We can define the time the tsunami would come, the height of the tsunami and measure the tsunami’s danger level.


Q: How would a tsunami in the East Sea, if it happens, affect Vietnam?


A: This depends on the magnitude of the earthquakes in the scenarios that Vietnam builds up. The influence caused by 8-8.8 Richter and 9.3 Richter earthquakes would be different.


However, regional scientists predict that the earthquake in the fault zone of the Manila Trench may measure at 9.3 on the Richter scale.


Tens of locations in Vietnam would be affected, but the central coast would be hit the soonest. The cities of Da Nang, Nha Trang and Tuy Hoa would be attacked by the tsunami, so they have to draw up a plan to deal with a tsunami.


Q: Would the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plants be affected if there was a tsunami?


A: The effects to be caused to the locations adjacent to Ninh Thuan 1 and Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plants would be different. In the worst scenario, the tsunami height would be 6-7 meters in the location near Ninh Thuan 2 and 8-9 meters near Ninh Thuan 1.


Q: How is the Vietnam’s tsunami warning system operating? How would you evaluate Vietnam’s capability of dealing with a tsunami?


A: The system is operating well. Our Earthquake Report and Tsunami Warning Center of the Geophysics Institute is an official member of the 43-member Pacific Tsunami Warning System (PTWS). The member countries of PTWS share information and warnings with each other.


If tsunamis occur in the East Sea area, Vietnam would receive warnings soon. The US’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the Northwest Pacific Tsunami Consultancy Center under the Japan Bureau of Meteorology are the two big centers which, with the modern equipment placed on the ocean floor, can forecast tsunamis.


I can say that the Vietnam’s tsunami warning system can integrate well with the systems in the Asia Pacific. We can predict earthquakes and tsunamis very soon and alert local authorities and relevant agencies.


However, how Vietnam deals with earthquakes and tsunamis would depend on the country’s own strengths and capability.

Dat Viet

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