Officials assess damage after Myanmar quake

Officials assess damage after Myanmar quake

The Department of Health Service Support (DHSS) has ordered Medical Supportive Emergency Response Teams (MSERTs) to inspect the structures of 14 hospital buildings in areas that felt the tremors of an earthquake in Myanmar on Friday, DHSS chief Sura Wisetsak said yesterday.

The quake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck on Friday morning. The epicentre was 76 kilometres southwest of Kengtung township in Shan State, or about 100km northwest of Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.

The quake was felt in some provinces in the North and Northeast, as well as some areas in Bangkok.

As the quake damaged some buildings in those areas, Dr Sura said the department had ordered the MSERTs of Health Service Support Centres 1 and 8 to inspect buildings at hospitals in Chiang Rai (11), Chiang Mai (2; San Sai Hospital and Chiang Dao Hospital), and Sakhon Nakorn (1; Sakhon Nakorn Hospital).

The team consisted of biomedical engineers and civil engineers, with the main mission being to inspect any damage inside the building interiors caused by the quake.

The MSERTs were ordered to assess damage risks and while keeping an eye on any additional aftershocks around the area, said Dr Sura.

Arkhom Praditsuwan, DHSS deputy chief, said the department's Design and Construction Division had ordered every Public Health Ministry hospital located on faultlines in the country to improve their structure to make them more stable in case of earthquakes in the future.

Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) said the Friday quake injured one person in Chiang Rai.

The DDPM's report said the quake affected people in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nan, and Sakhon Nakhon.

The provincial DDPMs are now providing help to people in those areas while inspecting damage.

Apart from one injured person, seven out of 18 districts in Chiang Rai suffered damage caused by the tremors, with six hospitals, three houses and one municipal office building reported to be in need of repair. It is unclear how much repairing the damage will cost.

Some cracks were seen on the chapel ceiling and a main Buddha statue at Wat Phumin, one of the famous tourist attractions in Nan.

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