Strong and extremely dangerous earthquake M6.0 struck Thailand

Strong and extremely dangerous earthquake M6.0 struck Thailand

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A strong and shallow earthquake M6.0 (USGS) struck Thailand on May 5, 2014 at 11:08 UTC (18:08 local time). USGS is reporting very shallow depth of 7.4 km (4.6 miles).

Epicenter was located 9 km (6 miles) S of Mae Lao and 27 km (17 miles) SW of Chiang Rai, Thailand. There are 2 387 170 people living within 100 km radius.

USGS issued green alert level for shaking-related fatalities - there is a low likelihood of casualties. 

Yellow alert level has been issued for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Thailand. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist.

The predominant vulnerable building types are nonductile reinforced concrete frame and unreinforced brick masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

This earthquake is a dangerous strike/slip earthquake where the main movement of the ground is horizontal - houses who are not build with an earthquake resistance have a hard time to survive in the epicenter area.

People in the epicenter area are reporting a lot of aftershocks.

ER update @ 13:52 UTC: It is currently 20:52 in Thailand. The evening and night will be an additional backlash for SAR (Search and Rescue) teams and Civil Defense personnel.

Update 21:20 UTC: A new aftershock has just been reported from the epicenter area

Important Update May 6, 04:30 UTC : Officials confirmed the death of at least one woman (83) from Mae Lao district, which was hit by a collapsing wall. At least 30 other people were injured.

Population exposure

Population per ˜1 sq. km. from LandScan

Selected cities exposed from GeoNames Database of Cities with 1,000 or more residents.

MMI City Population
VII Mae Lao <1k
VII Mae Suai <1k
VI Phan <1k
VI Chiang Rai 79k
V Wiang Chai <1k
V Pa Daet 14k
IV Chiang Mai 201k
IV Lampang 156k
III Uttaradit 58k
III Vientiane 197k
III Taunggyi 160k

(k = x1,000)

Featured image: USGS

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