CHIANG RAI – The Thai Transport Ministry has ordered that the design of small bridges and roads be improved to cope with strong earthquakes, Thai News Agency (TNA), reported.
Caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said this during his meeting with executives of the Department of Highways and the Department of Rural Roads here on Wednesday.
The meeting was to discuss solutions for northern Thai provinces affected by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Chiang Rai Province on May 5. So far there were over 800 aftershocks, it was reported.
Chadchart said that the powerful quake did not have any impact on large bridges, but had affected small bridges of 10-15 metres long because they were not built to withstand strong quakes.
He told journalists, after the meeting, that he has ordered the two departments to improve the small bridges within six months and to also redesign roads to prevent it from being affected by earthquakes.
He noted that the May 5 quake has caused great damage to Highway 118 in Chiang Rai.
According to the caretaker transport minister, last week’s 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Chiang Rai caused small cracks on 218 bridges in the Thai North, but their structures have remained intact.