An Earthquake that’s epicenter was in the Hongsa district of Laos has causes structural damage to a local school in Northern Thailand’s Nan province. The school has been temporarily closed as engineers survey the damages.
The 4.8 magnitude earthquake in Laos was caused by a ground movement from northeast to southwest in Hongsa district. It occurred near a lignite mine belonging to an electricity production company.
Temblors have occurred in the same spot 22 times over the past three days ranging about 16 kilometres northeastward from Ban Nam Chang village in tambon Khun, in Nan province.
The earthquake caused cracks on the beam, 40-50 centimeters long, used to take the weight of the Bang Nam Chang school building on the 2nd floor, raising concerns over student safety.
District chief Kraisorn Nootuan yesterday said the school has been ordered to suspend use of the building by using a meeting hall temporarily.
The building is now being inspected to determine whether the structure is sturdy enough to resume teaching there, he said.
Some 2.8 million baht was spent on the building where about 40 Grade 3-4 students are taught. Although the concrete is reinforced with steel, it could not withstand the impact of the earthquake.
Past Earthquakes in Northern Thailand
On February 5, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that at 5:47 p.m., a 5.6 earthquake with a depth of 10 km occurred in Myanmar’s Shan State.
The quake hit at a shallow depth of 10 km beneath the epicenter near Taunggyi, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma), on the afternoon on Friday 5 February 2021 at 5:47 pm local time.
Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake did not caused any significant damage, but was probably felt by many people as light vibration in the area of the epicenter.
Shaking was felt in Taunggyi located 88 km from the epicenter, and Pyin Oo Lwin 136 km away.
Seismologists in Northern Thailand said the quake could be felt in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and as far as Mae Hong Son. No damage was reported.
In November 2019, a strong earthquake shook a border area between northern Thailand and Laos.
Residents in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai felt a long period of shaking but saw no major damage. High-rise buildings swayed slowly for at least a half-minute in Bangkok, about 175 miles away from the epicenter, startling residents of the capital.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.1-magnitude quake Thursday morning was about 6 miles below the surface. Moderate quakes of 4.6 and 5.7 magnitude shook the same area overnight.
The quake was centered about 19 miles from Chaloem Phra Kiat, an area about 15 miles from the border with Laos.
In 2014 and earthquake struck Mae Lao, Chiang Rai occurring on May 5. The epicenter was located at a point 9 km south of Mae Lao District, 27 km southwest of Chiang Rai City. One person was killed as a result of the earthquake.