Pattaya Daily News

05 April 2010 :: 18:04:38 pm 17644

Earthquakes Rock Chiang Rai, Mexico & Southern California

Chiang Rai, Mexico and Southern California were all hit by earthquakes in the last two days. The one in Chiang Rai was minor at 3 on the Richter scale, striking today, whereas for the other two places the quakes, which happened yesterday, were large, of a 7.2 magnitude.
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Chiang Rai, 5 April 2010, [Pattaya Daily News]: Chiang Rai was gently rocked by a magnitude 3 earthquake, today, at 6.45am, with its epicenter in Muang district. Although the quake only lasted 5 to 10 seconds, the quake was sufficiently significant to cause people to dash out onto the street in alarm; however there were no reports of any damage or casualties. There are nine active fault lines in Thailand, the one near Chiang Mai being the Mae Tha Fault, about 30 kilometres away from the city. About 55 kilometres long, this fault has generated 23 quakes during the past 28 years, the most severe having been a quake of magnitude 5.2 on the Richter scale in December 1995.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake which hit struck cities in Northern Mexico and Southern California, was considerably more damaging structurally, ripping up roads and causing buildings to sway all the way from Tijuana to Los Angeles. In Mexico, yesterday’s quake was one of the most severe the area has experienced for decades, with up to 20 aftershocks. Only one person was killed directly by the quake and another killed by a car whilst escaping, but over 100 were hurt by falling debris. A city near the epicenter suffered almost complete power loss and the traffic on the main Mexicali-Tijuana highway was disrupted by a 3ft-deep crack.

In the US the quake was less significant. “It sounds like it’s felt by at least 20 million people at this point. Most of southern California felt this earthquake.” USGS seismologist Lucy Jones maintained. Apparently, citizens in Los Angeles, about 200 miles north-west of the epicenter, felt buildings rock.

A small US border town, Calexico, suffered structural damage to buildings, sufficiently strong to cause the Calexico City Council to announce a state of emergency, with police patrols out in force to prevent looting. The only other US town to suffer minor damage to buildings and water pipes was San Diego, 100 miles west of the epicenter. Drivers also apparently had difficulty staying on the road with the shaking of the highway. No deaths were reported in either US town. The large number of  active geological faults produce numerous frequent quakes, but the populace is really dreading what they all know is destined, the major one of magnitude 8. In the worst case scenario 3,000 to 15,000 would die, with 12,000 to 50,000 injured. Highways would be blocked by landslides and all support systems will be incapacitated, as well as numerous other earthquake-related disasters substantially increasing the death toll and the destruction.

Reporter: Zivrap Eismohg (Foreign Correspondent)

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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