Northern Thailand still safe for quake-proof structures

Northern Thailand still safe for quake-proof structures
A temple in Pan district, Chiang Rai province.

THAILAND - Despite some seismic threats, the whole of the North remains safe for housing and business but only on condition that all structures are made quake-proof, experts said yesterday.

The experts emphasised the need for architectural buildings in the North to undergo renovation for quakeproof features in the wake of the 6.3-magnitude trembler that rattled several provinces on Monday evening.

Experts also found that the damage was much less than in other countries shaken by a similar shock, according to the preliminary results of an inspection conducted by the Engineering Institute of Thailand.

A team from the institute visited tambon Sai Khao in Chiang Rai's Phan district, the epicentre, from Wednesday to yesterday, and found that many damaged buildings could be repaired.

However, some such as Phanpittayakhom School's main building, had almost caved in as its framework had come apart.

"The damaged main building of Phanpittayakhom School must be reconstructed as it would be dangerous for everyone," said Assoc Professor Penneung Warnitchai, an earthquake expert at the Asian Institute of Technology.

The massive quake was the biggest recorded in Thailand.

According to the Internal Security Operations Command's provincial branch, the disaster has affected 54,542 people, ruined 12 houses and partially damaged 8,371 others in Chiang Rai.

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