Earthquake Shakes Border Area Between Thailand and Laos

By The Associated Press

A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook the border region between northern Thailand and Laos Thursday morning, causing only minor damage. No injuries have been reported.

It was centered just inside Xaignabouli province in Laos, some 19 miles from Chaloem Phra Kiat district in Thailand’s Nan province.

The quake rattled Chiang Mai province in northern Thailand and vibrations were also felt in Bangkok and Hanoi, Vietnam. A high rise building swayed in Bangkok about 380 miles away from the epicenter for about half a minute.

Chiang Mai resident Petchnoi Osathaphan said the quake made her feel dizzy. “There are three new cracks at the baseboards and close to the windows,” she said pointing at her home near the Mae Ping River.

Several moderate quakes of 4.6 and 5.7 magnitude hit the region overnight before the major one on Thursday morning struck the area.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was about six miles below the surface.

The Thai-owned, coal-fired Hongsa Thermal Power Plant in Xaignabouli said its system to prevent damage from tremors operated as planned and shut down the system to avoid damage. It said an initial survey of the plant’s two dams showed no structural damage, but a more comprehensive survey was expected to be completed within 24 hours. Some structures suffered minor damage, it added.

Thai-owned CK Power said that according to preliminary inspections, two hydroelectric plants it operates in the area, the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Plant and the Nam Ngum 2 Hydroelectric Power Plant, suffered no damage from the quakes and continued to generate electricity for Thai and Laos state power authorities.

NTD reporter Victor Westerkamp contributed to this report.