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More than 100 Aftershocks After Chiang Rai Earthquake, White Temple Severely Damaged

A man points a big crack on a damaged road following a strong earthquake in Phan district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Monday, May 5, 2014. A strong earthquake shook northern Thailand and Myanmar Monday evening, and some light damage was reported.

A man points a big crack on a damaged road following a strong earthquake in Phan district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Monday, May 5, 2014. A strong earthquake shook northern Thailand and Myanmar Monday evening, and some light damage was reported.

 

CHIANG RAI– The Seismological Bureau of the Meteorological Department has reported that more than 100 aftershocks were detected as a result of the Chiang Rai quake that struck in the evening of April 5th.

The center reported that the earthquake’s epicenter originated in Sai Khao Subdistrict, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale and creating a fissure that stretched seven kilometers deep.

Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple was heavily damaged

Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple was heavily damaged

Following the eruption, more than 100 aftershocks have been detected in the wake of the earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale that struck Chiang Rai’s Phan district on Monday night.

Seven districts of Chiang Rai have been declared disaster-stricken areas to facilitate quick assistance for people affected by the earthquake that rocked the northern province on Monday evening.

The Chiang Rai earthquake on Monday has left a celebrated visual artist in despair after his exquisite temple sustained substantial damage.

Chalermchai Kositpipat, who was named National Artist on visual arts in 2011, has been working on Wat Rong Khun, the ornate white Buddhist temple, since 1996.

He said on Tuesday the temple, which has become a tourist attraction in Chiang Rai, would be closed indefinitely.

The structure needs to be inspected and various parts demolished, he said.

“We couldn’t sleep inside last night because the tremor was almost non-stop. The engineer who built the temple and I checked the damage last night and we thought it wasn’t too bad. But come morning we were shocked by the extent of the destruction,” Mr Chalermchai, a Chiang Rai native, told a news TV program on Tuesday.

“The walls of the main structure are cracked, as are my paintings on them. A large part of my painting on one of them even came off,” the 59-year-old artist said.

“If the structure is intact, it will take me two years to repaint it. If it isn’t, the temple might be closed for good.

“We’re desperate. Our works over the past 20 years disappeared in one day,” he said.

People in the North posted on social media that the quakes were very noticeable and merchandise fell from shelves at shops and department stores. Ceiling tiles were dislodged at Chiang Rai airport and passengers ran out of the passenger terminal. Netizens posted pictures of big cracks on buildings and roads and a broken Buddha image in Phan district, Chiang Rai.

Nine provinces have so far felt the aftershocks, including Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nan, Phayao, Nong Khai, and Loei.

As of now, the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC) has warned all residents living near the quake’s vicinity to be on alert for the next 6 to 12 hours, as the quake is still generating at least four shock-waves every hour.

 

 

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Posted by on May 6 2014. Filed under Chiangrai News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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