BANGKOK, 20 April 2012 – The Engineering Institute of Thailand under His Majesty the King’s Patronage (EIT) said although Phuket is faced with several aftershocks, the province is safe from big quakes; but another earthquake could strike in the North or West instead.
The EIT said the 9.1-magnitude earthquake in 2004 and the 8.4-magnitude earthquake on April 11th in Indonesia have made a shift underground, releasing energy upward. The Indo-Australia Plate is moving toward the Eurasian Plate. It stated that the movement could cause an 8.5-9 on the Richter scale earthquake in deep water around Myanmar and Nicobar Islands. The quake could possibly create a tsunami.
The Institute explained that once the earthquake occurs, it would take two more hours before a tsunami hits Thailand’s Andaman coast, adding that the time of the earthquake is unpredictable, so people must be prepared.
As for the frequent minor quakes in Phuket, the expert does not worry about their impacts as the small tremors do not stimulate large quakes. However, the EIT warns residents in the North and West to be cautious about possible earthquake as the fault lines have collected tremendous energy, which is waiting to be released.