Krabi residents quiver as undersea quake rattles province

Krabi residents quiver as undersea quake rattles province

CLOSE on the heels of Wednesday's 4.6-magnitude undersea quake that jolted the southern provinces of Phang Nga, Phuket and Krabi, another undersea earthquake occurred early yesterday and shook Krabi's Khao Phanom district.

Resident Jiraporn Srichan said she and fellow villagers were shocked out of their sleep. Her- Na Khao subdistrict suffered an immense loss of lives and property in a landslide on March 25, 2011, so the brief pre-dawn tremor yesterday was quite unnerving.

"The whole house suddenly shook and there was a loud creak while my sliding front door, which was locked, slid away," said Jiraporn, 31.

The 4.7-magnitude quake at 30 minutes past midnight centred in Phang Nga's Koh Yao district, which affected the same area as the one on Wednesday, caused widespread alarm despite not causing any serious damage. No tsunami warning was issued. The tremor was felt by people on Phi Phi Island, as well as in Phuket, and reportedly sent hundreds of people running for the hills. They returned home later, but only after they felt confident the quake wouldn't be followed by a tsunami.

In Bangkok, 70 high-rise buildings "at risk in case of earthquake" are now being monitored by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, which will also soon discuss with relevant agencies the feasibility of stringent standards for construction of high-rises and large bridges, mainly to withstand high-speed winds and earthquake impacts.

Thailand in the past 70-80 years has seen about 260 earthquakes, though only 42 were felt in Bangkok. The capital city has 736 buildings more than 20 storeys high, 3,982 buildings of between eight and 20 storeys, and 35,851 buildings four to seven storeys high.

Ranong province also checked the readiness of its 13 disaster-warning towers to boost public confidence after the two quakes in the Andaman Sea.

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