The Hanoi People's Committee has issued a plan to protect the public with timely earthquake warnings and safety measures.

The plan was made in response to the 9 Richter earthquake, the biggest on record, followed by 10-metre tsunami waves, that hit Japan on March 11, killing thousands of people and sweeping away everything in its path.

Chairman of the committee Nguyen The Thao urged agencies to disseminate basic knowledge of earthquakes to the public through mass media and warn residents to take safety measures upon receiving an earthquake alarm.

Investors and contractors were asked to take the impact of earthquakes into consideration before building public projects and high-rise buildings. Relevant authorities were required to review ill-structured houses and figure out how to fix them.

If an earthquake was forecast, municipal authorities would be in charge of informing the public as soon as possible and evacuating residents. Authorities in localities must mobilise resources to minimise life and property losses, he said.

Director of the Vietnam Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre Le Huy Minh said the earthquake in Japan has not impacted Vietnam .

Currently, the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources receives warnings from 30 earthquake observation stations nationwide and another 30 from neighbouring countries.

They also cooperate with Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean alarm centres to receive warnings one minute after an earthquake occurs.

Vietnam 's embassy in Japan on March 13 established a channel to provide information to families whose relatives are living and working in earthquake-affected areas.

No Vietnamese fatalities have been reported and all Vietnamese students, workers and experts have been evacuated to safe places. The embassy is working with Japanese authorities to send a team to help Vietnamese citizens and return them to Vietnam if possible.

In addition, the Vietnam Red Cross on March 14 provided initial financial aid worth 50,000 USD for earthquake victims in Japan./.