Twenty families in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on Wednesday evacuated as a crack in ground is expanding and threatening their safety, local news website VnExpress reported.
The crack began appearing last Friday and is now nearly 500 meter long. It is affecting a 15-hectare area in Di Linh Town, which is about 80 kilometers to the north of famous Da Lat resort town, the news source said. The width of the crack is 20 centimeters at most and depth reaches up to over two meters.
Locals initially thought the crack was caused by big trucks passing by. However, it continued to expand and caused a house to collapse on Sunday, and another two were starting to crack and sink. Locals were prompted to move out of the area for safety reasons, according to VnExpress.
The provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment conducted a survey on Wednesday that concluded it was probably related to groundwater exploitation.
But, more surveys by scientists are needed to determine the exact causes, according to the department.
Nguyen Hong Phuong, vice director of the Center for Earthquake Information and Tsunami Warning agreed with the department's initial conclusions, adding that it wasn't related to volcanoes and earthquakes, either, because Lam Dong is rarely affected by those phenomena.