Quake aftershocks continue to rock Phuket

23 Apr 2012

The Thai Meteorological Department says that 60 aftershocks have been detected on Phuket during the past week. The southern Thai island witnessed a 4.3 Richter magnitude earthquake last Monday which is the cause of the aftershocks.

Seismologists said the earthquake’s epicentre was in the Talang District of Phuket. Local residents have been contacting island authorities over the past few days to report earthquake damage to their residences. The officials say the damage is mostly limited to cracks and they plan to amass all the complaints before dispatching them to the Phuket Provincial Office for funds for repairs.

This week’s aftershocks were detected by earthquake detectors the Meteorological Department has installed on the island. Phuket is on the Khlong Marui fault line and is susceptible to earth movements.

Seismologists say Phuket will experience mild aftershocks for about one more month as the fault line settles down again. Two minor tremors yesterday in Talang emphasised the statement. The first one at 04:00 had a 2.2 Richter magnitude and the second at 08:40 measured 2.4.

Phuket has established an earthquake centre to collate quake and tremor information, and issue warnings and evacuation instructions if it becomes necessary.

Just days before the Talang earthquake, on 11 April, tourists and residents on the west coast of Phuket were evacuated after an 8.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami alert. The tidal waves did not materialise this time, but a previous tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 killed 5,000 people along the Phuket and southern Andaman Sea coast of Thailand.   

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