One Dead as Quake Rocks Northern Thai City
Thursday night saw a strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale strike north east Myanmar, shaking up a region that is already on edge following the recent events in Japan. The powerful Burma quake was reported by the USGS in a fairly remote area of the country.
Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, Thailand, according to reports just in.
The quake was reported to have shook the “Golden Triangle” region where Myanmar borders with Thailand and Laos. Thai TV stations reported that the earthquake was centered about 70 miles west of Chiang Rai, the city in northern Thailand that was hardest hit. So far one casualty was reported in the city, the victim dying after part of the ceiling in her home collapsed on her. Many buildings in the city and surrounding villages have been reported as suffering minor damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake was located at 20.7° N, 99.9° E, and was very close to the surface, just six miles deep. The quake was rated Orange on the Earthquake Shaking Alert Level scale, which means that potentially widespread destruction and casualties is possible. Latest reports say that around 600,000 people in nearby areas, including Mae Sai, Chiang Mai and Ban Mae Chan felt strong, even violent tremors.
In Bangkok, approximately 480 miles south of the earthquake’s epicenter, high rise buildings were reported to have swayed for several seconds by local residents. Many staff in Thailand’s Channel 3 headquarters evacuated the building in panic, reports have said.
Australian expat Max Jones, resident in Bangkok, said that his 27th floor apartment shook so hard he had to hold onto the walls to keep himself standing upright. “It was bloody scary” he commented.
Tsunami fears have been allayed, with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announcing the quake was too far inland to cause any big waves.