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Quake risk ‘high’ in Plains

Posted by arnon_k On December - 25 - 2010

Bangkok and 19 other provinces in the Central Plains are facing a high risk of an earthquake centred on the Three Pagodas fault in Kanchanaburi, an authority has warned.

A study by the Mineral Resources Department has found that a 6.9 Richter scale earthquake took place at the fault zone 2,000 years ago and that based on a cycle of earthquake activity, another one could occur.

Spokesman Adisak Surinkum said that if a 6.9 Richter scale quake struck, 147 districts in 20 provinces would be affected, with the level of damage varying depending on their distance from the centre.

“We have found that Bangkok is a city at risk,” Mr Adisak said. “The impacts are likely to be severe due to the city’s mudland geography, which can amplify the earthquake scale two or three times.”

Most buildings in Bangkok have not been designed for earthquake resistance.

The study found Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi were expected to be hit worst, with building collapses, followed by Bangkok, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Samut Prakan, Phetchaburi, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Prachin Buri.

Lertsin Raksaskulwong, chief of the Bureau of Environmental Geology and Geohazard, said the department drew up a map of earthquake risk areas in 2005. It serves as a database for the Public Works and Town & Country Planning Department’s ministerial regulation on buildings and earthquakes.

Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Tak and Kanchanaburi must have earthquake-resistant buildings capable of withstanding a 6.0 to 6.9 Richter scale quake.

The buildings in some provinces in the North, such as Chiang Mai and Lampang, together with Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phuket, Trang, Krabi and Satun must be capable of withstanding a 5.0 to 5.9 quake.

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