Phuket deputy governor urges public to be calm amid quake aftershocks

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BANGKOK, April 18 –  To allay concern among residents and tourists following a series of more than 40 detected earthquake aftershocks, Phuket’s deputy governor said Wednesday that the public should not panic as the province has a contingency plan ready to cope with any effects of the tremors.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Warning Center has continued monitoring aftershocks around the clock.

Rear Admiral Thavorn Charoendee, the centre’s technical specialist, said more than 40 tremblors centred in Thalang district were detected since Monday.

The tremblors are less severe and less frequent and the situation will return to normal soon but the centre remains vigilant, ready to issue a warning in case of an emergency, he said.

Deputy governor Somkiart Sangkhaosutthirak confirmed that provincial authorities and agencies concerned have contingency plans for warnings and evacuations in place.

An area in Srisunthorn sub-district was declared a disaster zone until the situation returns to normal.

Two quakes, measuring 2.6 and 3.2 on the Richter scale at 00.49am and 04.15am , shook Phuket Wednesday.

On Sumatra in Indonesia, two quakes measuring 2.4 and 5 on the Richter scale were detected at 00.06am and 02.04am.

Srisunthorn sub-district mayor Worawut Songyod said that the latest aftershocks on Wednesday are minor tremblors and no additional damage was reported.

Government officials and geologists have visited local residents to assure them that there is no reason to be frightened. Some residents now better understand and have returned to business as usual, the mayor said.

Cracks were seen from the 4.3 magnitude quake on Monday but led to no large scale structural damage.