Small quake hits Phang Nga province in Thailand

Small quake hits Phang Nga province in Thailand

A 4.0-MAGNITUDE earthquake hit the southern province of Phang Nga yesterday afternoon, with tremors felt in the neighbouring provinces of Phuket and Krabi.

The National Disaster Warning Centre reported that the 1pm quake at Koh Yao was about 2 kilometres below the surface. There were no reports of a tsunami.

News website Phuketwan quoted a reader as saying the tremor was felt at the Phuket Heroines monument for about six seconds.

Another reader based in southern Phuket said: "I felt a light shaking that lasted maybe 10-15 seconds - not sure at first if it was an earthquake or maybe a passing large vehicle, but quite noticeable."

"We were on the beach at Nai Yang [near Phuket airport] and felt it there," another reader said in a phone call to Phuketwan. "But there was no panic."

Meanwhile, Passakorn Pananon, a lecturer at Kasetsart University's Earth Sciences Department, said the quake took place at the end of the 150 kilometre Klong Marui fault line that cuts across Surat Thani's Ban Ta Khun and Phanom districts and Phang Nga's Thap Put and Muang districts.

Passakorn said this fault was responsible for many quakes though they were usually quite small.

About two years ago, an earthquake shook Phuket island, which is close by.

Tremors of this level do not generate a tsunami, which usually only occurs when a quake is greater than 6 magnitude and is vertical in nature.

However, he said, the situation should be monitored for a while as the quake may be followed by aftershocks.

"The first earthquake may not be the biggest, though the following tremor might be stronger," he said.

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