Is Bangkok safe?

Is Bangkok safe?

Bangkok is located close enough to fault lines to cause concern for earthquake damage, but expert disagree on how bad it would be.

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2,700 city buildings at earthquake risk

Even moderate tremor at fault lines poses danger


Earthquake preparedness is a must for Bangkok as the capital is not far from active fault lines where even a moderate quake could send strong shock waves to the city, seismologists have warned.

City Hall has issued a warning that about 2,700 buildings in the capital could be damaged by an earthquake.

Bangkok is less than 200 kilometres from Kanchanaburi, home to the Chedi Sam Ong fault line, and about 800km from Chiang Mai, where the Mae Ta and Mae Chan fault lines are located.

The Chedi Sam Ong, Mae Ta, and Mae Chan are among 13 active fault lines in Thailand covering 22 provinces.

Studies showed there is a high possibility that a powerful earthquake of 6-7 magnitude will occur along the fault lines in Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai provinces, Pennung Warnitchai, a seismologist from the Asian Institute of Technology, said yesterday.

His comment followed the 6.8-magnitude earthquake in northern Burma that killed at least 75 people, including a Thai villager in Chiang Rai, on Thursday.

The quake sent shock waves that could be felt in several parts of Thailand, including Bangkok.

Quakes in Kanchanaburi or Chiang Mai would not only cause severe damage to the two provinces but also to Bangkok, Mr Pennung said.

"We will see severe damage to buildings and other structures in Bangkok," the seismologist said.

However, Lertsin Raksaskulwong, director of the Mineral Resources Department's environmental geology and geohazard bureau, disagreed.

He said earthquake damage in Bangkok would not be serious.

"There won't be total building collapse. People will only feel the buildings shaking, like many people in high-rises felt on Thursday," he said.

Surachai Ponpattarakul, a senior expert at the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning, said the issue of buildings' resistance to earthquakes had become a major concern following frequent natural disasters.

The agency has been drafting a regulation to help owners of buildings constructed before the enforcement of the 2007 Building Control Act improve their buildings' structures to ensure they are earthquake-resistant.

The Building Control Act stipulates that buildings 23 metres or higher and buildings covering more than 10,000 square metres must have structures that can resist an earthquake of at least 5 on the Richter scale.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Pornthep Techapaiboon said initial inspections of 12 high-rise buildings in Bangkok after Thursday's earthquake found none had been damaged, but a close watch would be kept on the situation.

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risk – the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
moderate – neither very great nor very small in strength, size, amount or degree  ระดับปานกลาง
tremor – a shaking of the earth; an  earthquake การสั่นสะเทือน
fault line – a fault (= break in the Earth's surface)  รอยเลื่อนของเปลือกโลก
pose a danger – to be a possible danger อาจก่อให้เกิดอันตรายต่อ
preparedness – the state of being ready or willing to do something ความพร้อม, การเตรียมพร้อม
shock wave – a movement of very high air pressure that is caused by an explosion, earthquake, etc. คลื่นกระแทก
seismology – the scientific study of earthquakes วิทยาแผ่นดินไหว, การศึกษาเกี่ยวกับแผ่นดินไหวและปรากฏการณ์ที่เกี่ยวข้อง
seismologist – a scientist who studies earthquakes
warn – to make someone conscious of a possible problem or danger เตือน
magnitude – size or strength  ขนาดหรือ ความรุนแรง
severe – very serious and unpleasant รุนแรง
structure – something large such as a building or a bridge that is built from different parts โครงสร้าง
geology – the scientific study of the earth, including the origin and history of the rocks and soil of which the earth is made; the origin and history of the rocks and soil of a particular area ธรณีวิทยา
geohazard – a geological state that has the possibility to develop further into a situation leading to damage or uncontrolled risk
bureau – a government organisation สำนักงาน
collapse – to suddenly fall down ล้มลง
shake – to move or make somebody/something move with short quick movements from side to side or up and down ขย่า,  สั่น, ทำให้สั่น, สั่นสะเทือน
high-rise – a building is very tall with many floors or levels อาคาร ซึ่งมีหลายชั้น
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
resistance – the power not to be affected by something การต่อต้าน
concern – a worry ความกังวล
frequent – happening often เกิดขึ้นบ่อย
natural disaster –an unexpected natural event, such as a very bad storm or flood that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage ความหายนะธรรมชาติทาง, ภัยพิบัติธรรมชาติทาง
draft – to write a document, plan, etc. that may be changed before it is finally accepted ร่าง
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
construct –building or making some thing, especially buildings, bridges, etc. ก่อสร้าง
enforcement – the process of making sure that something happens, especially that people obey a law or rule การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
Act – a law passed by a country’s government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ
stipulate – to state exactly how something must be or must be done ระบุ, ระบุเงื่อนไข
Richter scale – a scale for measuring the magnitude (size and strength) of earthquakes หน่วยวัดความรุนแรงของแผ่นดินไหว
initial – happening at the beginning of a process ในเบื้องต้น
inspection – an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์

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