Locals rattled again by 5-magnitude shaker
The National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC) Tuesday confirmed a 5-magnitude earthquake shook Chiang Rai’s Mae Lao district on Monday evening.
Group Captain Somsak Khaosuwan, the NDWC director, said the centre did not make an official announcement after the quake occurred at 6.05pm because it did not significantly impact local residents.
The epicentre of the earthquake was about eight kilometres underground in tambon Dong Mada of Mae Lao district.
”It is not an aftershock of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that took place [on May 5]. Actually it is another earthquake that happened on the same Phayao fault line,” Grp Capt Somsak said.
He said the centre has kept a close watch on the situation for 24 hours and also told local authorities and residents to remain on full alert.
He said the centre is monitoring several fault lines in the North such as the Phayao and Mae Tha fault lines passing under Lampang and Chiang Mai provinces as there is a high risk of more earthquakes there.
He said the centre is working closely with other agencies to provide information on earthquakes and safety advice for people in earthquake-affected areas.
Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department’s Seismological Bureau reported 759 aftershocks from the May 5 earthquake that rattled Chiang Rai province.
The bureau also reported the Mae Lao district earthquake on Monday resulted in 16 aftershocks measuring about 3.8 in Mae Lao and Mae Suai districts of Chiang Rai. No injuries or damage were reported.
Pongsakorn Chaknil, a village chief of Moo 12 village at tambon Dong Mada in Mae Lao district, said earthquakes and aftershocks that had rocked his village over the past week destroyed more than 150 houses, affecting many residents.
“Dong Mada people are now living in fear. Many of them are still camping out in the open as they are too afraid to stay in their damaged homes,” said Mr Pongsakorn.
He called on provincial authorities to build temporary shelters for these affected residents.
He also wanted the authorities to speed up inspecting damage to buildings in his village so that affected villagers could request repair money from the state.
He said that repairs to damaged structures and other public infrastructure in his village were expected to take several days.
Sanong Sucharit, director of Phan Pittayakom School in Phan district of Chiang Rai, said the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) sent an engineer team to inspect damage to a four-storey building of the school affected by the 6.3-magnitude quake and its aftershocks.
Mr Sanong said Obec is considering whether it will have to be demolished or not. The building was declared off limits for safety reasons.