Thailand had a rude awakening on Monday when a 6.3-magnitude quake struck Chiang Rai, causing extensive damage and prompting fears of new quakes. It was followed by nearly 300 aftershocks.
Although Thailand had previously experienced tremors from earthquakes, their impacts were largely minimal, thanks to the quakes’ low magnitude on the Richter scale, the epicentres being very deep below the earth's surface, or far from Thai soil.
For most Thais, earthquakes are a rare phenomenon that give brief excitement when the earth trembles, things fall from shelves, high-rises sway and people suffer from short spells of dizziness that quickly goes away when the movement stops.
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