CHIANG RAI – As local authorities are hastily repair a major highway damaged by the strongest ever 6.3 magnitude earthquake to rattle Chiang Rai province last week, another quake of 5.0 magnitude hit Chiang Rai’s Mae Lao district before noon today, sending residents to run out of their homes for fear of building collapses.
The Thai Meteorological Department reported earthquake of 5.0 magnitude at 11.05 a.m. Monday in Mae Lao district of Chiang Rai.
There was no report of damages yet but Channel 9 reported residents in Mae Lao district were forced to run out of their homes for fear of building collapses.
It recorded nine quakes ranging from 2.5 to 5 on the Richter scale from 00.08 a.m. to 11.05 a.m. in Mae Suai, Phan and Mae Lao today. The strong quake of 5.0 magnitude was reported at 11.05 a.m. in Mae Lao district.
Earlier in the morning, the department said aftershocks following the earthquake in Chiang Rai last week have reduced in frequency.
It said that the frequency of aftershocks in the area has reduced to only 12 affecting only Phan, Mae Suai, Mae Lao districts and Chiang Rai municipality.
The aftershocks were measured at between 2.0 – 4.0 Richter. All in all, as of 2 pm today, a total of 729 aftershocks have been recorded.
Meanwhile local authorities said repairs on Highway No 118 from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai has progressed tremendously and should be completed within two months.
Repairs on affected highways, such as the 118 Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai highway, are progressing steadily and expectations are that the work will be completed within two months. The worse affected sections of the highway are at the Baan Huay Lanh, Dong Makha, Mae Lao and certain bypass routes and work has slowed slightly on these sections as heavy rains have caused soil collapse. As for other parts of the highway such as bridges and merging points which had been marginally affected, the Department of Highways has made inspections on all of them and repairs should be completed very quickly.
Meanwhile in Chiang Mai province, the ancient 700 year old Phra Chedi Wat Larm Chang pagoda has developed large cracks on many parts of its structure.
The pagoda which is shaped like a large inverted bell has suffered extensive damage and parts of its foundation has also collapsed causing the pinnacle of the pagoda to lean dramatically.
The historical site has been closed off to the public by authorities fearing injuries and also so that repair work can be affected.