Thai Tremors not Burmese Aftershocks

The tremors which followed the earthquake in Burma on Thursday and were felt in parts of Thailand were separate earthquakes whose epicentres were in northern Thailand, not aftershocks of the Burmese disaster, an inspection has found.

The Seismic Bureau of the Northern Meteorological Centre yesterday revealed that the epicentres of at least three temblors that rattled the country after a 6.8-magnitude quake rocked Burma were in Nan and Chiang Rai provinces.

“Officials examined seismic records and found that less than one hour after the quake hit Burma, there were at least three unrelated quakes centred on fault lines in Thailand,” said Adisorn Foongkhajorn, the bureau’s chief.

“But at that time, everyone thought the tremors were aftershocks from Burma.”

The first tremor, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale, occurred at 9:17pm. The epicentre was in Wiang Sa district in Nan.

The other two temblors, measured at 3.0 and 3.4 in magnitude, were centred in Chiang Saen and Mae Sai districts of Chiang Rai. They were detected at 22:09 and 22:15 pm.

Mr Adisorn said the first tremor was triggered by the movement of the Pua faultline in Nan and the other two were generated by the Mae Chan faultline in Chiang Rai.

The Pua and Mae Chan faultlines are among 13 active faults in Thailand, covering 22 provinces.

However, he warned people who lived in those areas not to panic and urged them to learn how to best respond in the event of an earthquake.

PM’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey was commissioned by the cabinet yesterday to organise a meeting with other state agencies this week to discuss earthquake mitigation plans, acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said.

Representatives from the ministries of Interior, Information and Communications Technology and Culture, together with officials from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, National Disaster Warning Centre, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and academics were invited to attend the meeting.

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