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Phuket shaken by earthquakes

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Phuket residents are taking evacuation routes more seriously after small earthquakes have rocked the island repeatedly in recent days. Experts say more are expected 

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A Phuket family passes an evacuation route sign on a road that has been busier than normal as frightened residents and tourists seek safer ground after a series of earthquakes have rocked the island. THITI WANNAMONTHA


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Phuket tremors to last a month

Sumatra quake causes southern fault to shift

Apinya Wipatayotin

Phuket will be shaken by a series of mild tremors for about a month following the 4.3-magnitude earthquake that hit the resort island on Monday, seismologists have warned.

Minor earthquakes of around 1 to 2 on the Richter scale could occur in the province in the coming weeks until an active fault line finishes adjusting itself, said Suwit Kosuwan, director of the Mineral Resources Department's Active Fault Research Division yesterday.

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake was detected in tambon Si Sunthon in Thalang district at 4.44pm on Monday, prompting locals and tourists to flee buildings in panic. The quake was generated by a small branch of the Klong Marui fault line, spanning Surat Thani, Krabi and Phangnga provinces.

Mr Suwit said the two major earthquakes measured at 8.6 and 8.2 near Indonesia's Sumatra island last Wednesday might have sparked the movement of the Klong Marui fault line, leading to the Phuket tremors.

Another active fault line that might have been affected by the Sumatra quake was the 270km Ranong fault line, which lies across Ranong, Chumphon and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces, he said.

Nine aftershocks were detected following the Phuket earthquake. The latest one, measured at 3.1, took place about noon yesterday.

Lertsin Raksaskulwong, the Environmental Geology and Geohazard Bureau director, played down fears of a major earthquake in the country.

"The largest earthquake ever in Thailand was magnitude 5.9 in Kanchanaburi province in 1983," said Mr Lertsin.


A resident of tambon Si Sunthon in Thalang district of Phuket points to a crack in her house from Monday's earthquake there. ACHADTAYA CHUENNIRAN

Phuket deputy governor Somkiat Sangkhaosutthirak yesterday declared Thalang district an earthquake disaster zone to facilitate compensation payments for people affected by Monday's tremors. Local authorities surveyed the damage in Thalang district and found 33 houses sustained cracks in Ban Bangkham and Ban Khuan Tathaen villages in the tambon Si Sunthon area. No injuries were reported.

Mr Somkiat said local officials would also check buildings aged between 80 and 120 years in Phuket city as well as high-rises to prepare earthquake response measures.

Somjit Singkorn, a quake-affected villager from tambon Si Sunthon, said Monday's earthquake was the biggest she had ever experienced.

"Villagers are now living in fear as the tremors occurred many times. We want the government to install a warning system in our neighbourhood. The system can save our lives in case of a major disaster," she said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday ordered state authorities to improve the disaster warning system and insisted her government was not reckless with regard to the issue.

However, she admitted to some flaws in communication between authorities during emergency periods.

She also suggested local people use SMS to communicate instead of making phone calls after Phuket's mobile network was overloaded following Monday's earthquake.

Thakorn Tanthasit, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said he has asked public broadcasters and amateur radio networks to help report earthquakes to the public.

evacuation – moving people from a place of danger to a safer place การอพยพ
route – the roads used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
rock – to shake or to make something shake violently ทำให้สั่นสะเทือน
tremor – a shaking of the earth; a (usually slight) earthquake การสั่นสะเทือน
fault (line) – a break in the Earth's surface)  รอยเลื่อนของเปลือกโลก
shift – to move to another place; to change ย้าย, เปลี่ยน
mild – not strong เบา, ไม่หนัก, ไม่รุนแรง
magnitude – size or strength  ขนาดหรือ ความรุนแรง
seismologist – a scientist who studies earthquakes นักวิทยาแผ่นดินไหว
warn – to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger เตือน
minor – small; having little influence or effect เล็กน้อย
Richter scale – a scale for measuring the magnitude (size and strength) of earthquakes หน่วยวัดความรุนแรงของแผ่นดินไหว
adjust – to change something slightly, in this case, to become stable again ปรับ
mineral – a valuable or useful chemical substance which is formed naturally in the ground แร่
(natural) resources –  things such as coal, trees, wildlife and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากรธรรมชาติ
detect – to find or prove that something is present using scientific methods พบ
prompt – to cause someone to take action กระตุ้น
locals – people who live in a particular place ชาวบ้าน
flee – to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger หนี อพยพ
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
generate – to produce ก่อให้เกิด
branch – a smaller or less important part of a river, road, railway/railroad, etc. that leads away from the main part ส่วนย่อย, กิ่งก้านสาขา
span – to stretch right across something, from one side to the other ก้าวข้าม
spark – to make something happen ก่อให้เกิด
aftershock – a sudden movement of the Earth's surface which often follows an earthquake and which is less violent than the first main movement แผ่นดินไหวเล็กน้อยที่เกิดหลังจากแผ่นดินไหวรุนแรง
geohazard – a geological state that has the possibility to develop further into a situation leading to damage or uncontrolled risk
play down – to discount; to try to make something seem less important or serious than it really is ลดความสำคัญ
crack – a line on a surface where something is beginning to break apart รอยแตก  รอยร้าว
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
facilitate – to make it possible or easier for something to happen ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
compensation – money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them  เงินชดเชย
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
survey – to make an examination of something to find out about its condition สำรวจ
sustain – to experience, injury, damage, loss, etc. ประสบกับ (ความสูญเสีย การเจ็บป่วย)
injury – physical damage done to a person or a part of their body อาการบาดเจ็บ
high-rise – a building is very tall with many floors or levels อาคาร ซึ่งมีหลายชั้น
warning – an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger คำเตือน
(natural) disaster –an unexpected natural event, such as an earthquake,  very bad storm or flood that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage ความหายนะธรรมชาติทาง, ภัยพิบัติธรรมชาติทาง
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
response – a reaction to something that has happened or been said การตอบสนอง
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
improve – to get better  ดีขึ้น
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
reckless – not thinking about the possible bad effects of your actions (or, in this case, the lack of action) ชะล่าใจ, สะเพร่า
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it  ยอมรับ
flaw – something wrong with something ข้อบกพร่อง
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
network – a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
overload – having too much of something to be able to handle or process it ใช้งานมากไป
amateur – a person who takes part in a sport or other activity for enjoyment, not as a job มือสมัครเล่น
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน

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