Yesterday morning, the tranquil slumber of Sangkhla Buri district was rudely disrupted by a magnitude 4 earthquake, causing tremors that jittered across the whole of Kanchanaburi. The quake’s aftershocks had the district’s residents reaching for their phones to connect with loved ones and to share their experiences on social media. In response to this unsettling earth-shaking event, authorities quickly sprang into action, ordering a swift and comprehensive examination of public buildings and infrastructure across the western province.
The Thai Meteorological Department’s director-general, Kanrawee Sitthicheewapak, pinpointed the earthquake’s epicentre to be in close proximity to tambon Nong Lu. This pocket of seismic activity was nestled approximately six kilometres below the earth’s surface and made its presence known at precisely 3:07 AM. The Earthquake Observation Division, after analysing the available data, attributed this quake to the liveliness of the Three Pagodas Fault, a significant tectonic boundary.
As the day broke, many residents of Sangkhla Buri district took their experiences online, expressing on Facebook how the abrupt vibrations had stirred them from their sleep and set their abodes shaking. Nataya Noomwatana, who works as a local vendor, narrated her experience amidst the early morning chaos. Just as her team was assembling their merchandise, a sudden clamour erupted from her market’s roof and the ground beneath them began to heave. This startling quake had the whole market scattering for safety, illustrating the unexpected thrills that our dynamic earth can occasionally throw our way.
In the context of seismic history, Sangkhla Buri isn’t unacquainted with such geologic hiccups. On July 14, 2015, a quake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale had previously rattled the district, followed by another quake measuring 4.5 on August 20 later that year. When your soil has such a tremulous temperament, being prepared becomes less of a precaution and more of a lifestyle.
In a befitting display of leadership, the governor of Kanchanaburi, Tossapol Chaikomin, posthaste issued instructions to Sangkhla Buri district’s chief, Sutthiporn Siwawetpikul, urging him to take stock of the situation and ascertain the extent of damage to buildings. As citizens and authorities alike take stock and move towards recovery, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the uncompromising power of nature against the backdrop of human resilience.