In the stillness of the early morning hours, a seismic ripple of 4.0 magnitude made its way through the district of Sangkhla Buri. The tremors rippled out and were discernible even across Kanchanaburi, a provincial enclave nestled in Thailand’s western reaches. Heading the department, Kanrawee Sitthicheewapak confirmed that the epicentre of the quake was nestled 6 kilometres beneath the surface of tambon Nong Lu. The time of occurrence was logged at approximately 3.07am.
The department’s specialized Earthquake Observation Division attributed this geologic upset to the tectonic shuffling of the Three Pagodas Fault. Those residing in single-storey homes in tambon Nong Lu found themselves amidst the rumblings, their homes shivering in response to the earth’s shift.
The quake was so perceptible that it stirred numerous residents of Sangkhla Buri from their slumbers, agitating their residences and setting their metal roofing a-clatter. Brought to life on social media platforms such as Facebook were a slurry of personal accounts from those who had experienced the quake first hand.
One narrative that stood out was of Nataya Noomwatana, a local vendor specialising in pork. As per her account, the earthquake decidedly interrupted the routine preparations of her team. Nataya narrated viscerally the symphony of sounds that filled the air, from the rattling of the market’s roof to the ominous grumble from the depths beneath her.
Spurred by the unpredictability of the earth’s tremors, many shared reports on Bangkok Post of vendors deserting the market structures, their hearts heavy with apprehension. This spectacle however, is not alien to Sangkhla Buri – the district itself has been a begrudging host to two previous earthquakes in 2015. The initial shudder, striking at a magnitude of 4.8, surfaced on July 14, quickly followed by an aftershock of slightly milder intensity at a 4.5 on August 20.
Just a couple of days preceding the current event, the region was jostled by a substantial 6.4 magnitude earthquake. This unexpected gift from the bowels of the earth was confirmed by the Earthquake Observation Division of the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) to have occurred at approximately 8.37am in Myanmar. The tremors were noted to have birthed around 100 kilometres to the northwest of the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai.
A tracking guided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) isolated the epicentre of the seismic event to approximately 76 kilometres southwest of the Kengtung township. This sparsely populated region is located in Shan State, Myanmar, and the seismic activity was found to have originated from a depth of nine kilometres.
Post the initial tremor, three additional seismic bursts followed suit, each recorded at magnitudes of 4.1, 3.5, and 3.4 respectively. For those yearning for more depth and details surrounding these seismic events, a click HERE is all it takes.