CHIANG RAI – The National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC) said it detected five more aftershocks in three districts of Chiang Rai province yesterday, the strongest measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale.
The NDWC said two tremors were detected in Mae Lao district at 12.21am and at 2.16am, each measured 2.6 and 3.1 on the Richter scale, respectively.
Not long afterwards, more shocks were felt in Phan district at 2.32am and at 4.56am. The tremors were measured at 2.8 and 3.8 on the Richter scale. The last struck Mae Suai district late yesterday morning, measuring 2.4.
Chiang Rai governor Pongsak Wangsamer said so far 767 aftershocks have been recorded after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Chiang Rai at 6.08pm on May 5.
The governor said 25 public health centers, 107 houses, 10,529 public buildings and five main roads were damaged by the quake and the aftershocks.
Mr Pongsak said a fund has been set up to assist quake victims in Chiang Rai province. Cash donations can be transferred to a bank account opened by the provincial headquarters. So far, about 200,000 baht has been donated to the account. Government and private agencies have also help in providing necessities to the victims.
The 3th Army Region has been assigned to take charge of distributing assistance and relief supplies to affected villagers in the quake-hit areas. Mengrai Maharaj Hospital has also set up a disaster prevention centre at Mae Lao and Phan districts.
Caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt and executives of the Highways and Rural Roads departments as well as the Expressway Authority of Thailand have met to discuss plans to strengthen roads and highways to cope with future quakes.
Mr Chadchart said he had ordered the two departments to review standards for road and bridge designs to bring them into line with international standards. The review is expected to be completed in six months. A map of quake prone areas will be also drawn up.
“Roads and bridges developed after 2006 were carefully designed and built so they are resistant to a quake. But bridges 10-15 metres long are not quake-resistant. So, I asked them [departments] to review design and construction standards as well as protection measures to ease the impacts from earthquakes,” said Mr Chadchart.
Mr Chadchart, who had travelled to northern Thailand to inspect the damage caused by the quake, said most bridges within a 50km-radius of the tremor were still in good condition. But a total 218 bridges were slightly damaged.