Just like in a blockbuster movie, Myanmar was nudged awake on a typical Friday morning with a real-life jolt, thanks to an earthquake measuring a whopping 6.4 on the Richter scale. This dramatic event occurred around 8.37 am and managed to send ripples across borders, as far as Thailand, China and Laos. The Thai Meteorological Department’s Earthquake Observation Division stated that the tremor occurred approximately 100 kilometers northwest of Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai.
The United States Geological Survey or USGS positioned the earthquake epicenter, around 76km southwest of Shan State’s Kengtung township, keeping its depth at an acute nine kilometers. With such a considerable presence felt, the main quake was followed by three more aftershocks, each one measuring 4.1, 3.5, and 3.4 respectively.
The rocking wasn’t just limited to the ground zero in Myanmar. Several Thai districts including Muang, Mae Suay and Mae Sai of Chiang Rai; Saraphi and Muang of Chiang Mai; Muang district of Lamphun; and also some parts of Nan felt the knees wobble. Even in clusters of Bangkok’s Lak Si district, people felt their surrounding shudder for a few, long seconds. The trembler further created confusion in the north regions at Mae Hong Son and reached as deep as Udon Thani and Khon Kaen in the Northeast.
The chief of the disaster prevention and mitigation office of Chiang Mai, Arun Pinta, reported the jolts from high-rise buildings and hospitals. Expressing the scene, he shared that staff and patients at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital sensed the tremor for about five seconds, surely experiencing a heart-racing moment of truth.
Currently, the good news is that no damage has been reported to reservoirs or dams in the northern province, announced Arun Pinta. Nonetheless, officials are leaving no stone unturned by conducting surveys around the districts to assess any possible cracks or faults caused by the earthquake.
The one who holds the skinny on this is Prasan Sangwandet, the director of the Earthquake Observation Division. According to him, the earthquake was an aftershock caused by the movement along the Kengtung fault in Myanmar’s Shan State.
Given Myanmar’s geological layout riddled with seismic faults, earthquakes are unfortunately a common occurrence. Prasan Sangwandet further mentioned that a series of post tremors ranging from three to four on the magnitude scale were reported after the primary shake. The science prediction models also anticipate more aftershocks throughout the next one to two months. Thus, the Thai Meteorological Department is not leaving anything to chance, with round-the-clock monitoring to stay ahead of this unwelcome visitor.
The event was no less than a thrilling action sequence, with a video capturing the impact in Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai province showing the magnitude of the 6.4 quake that rocked Myanmar. It’s an urgent reminder that though seismic readings and fault lines may seem far removed from everyday life, they can drastically shake things up without warning.