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Quake Causes Some Damage In Thailand, Myanmar

May 5, 2014

By The Associated Press

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BANGKOK (AP) -- A strong earthquake shook northern Thailand and Myanmar on Monday evening (early Monday, U.S. time), and some light damage was reported.

People were evacuated from the terminal of the main airport in Chiang Rai, a northern Thai city near the epicenter of the 6.0-magnitude temblor.

Pieces of the building ceiling fell but there was no damage to the runway or flight disruptions, airport General Manager Damrong Klongakara said. No one was hurt at the airport, but Damrong said the terminal and its roof were still being checked for further damage.

Damages were being assessed in Chiang Rai`s Phan district, where ceilings fell in some homes, said Wander Radchompoo, head of the district. She said no casualties have been reported.

Broken windows and cracks in building exteriors and roads were visible in the region.

The head of a Buddha statue fell at the Udomwaree Temple in Chiang Rai, according to monk Phra Pathompong. A residential building at the temple also had exterior cracks and ceiling damage, and nearby residents reported only minor damage in their homes, he said.

People ran down stairs in office buildings in Myanmar`s largest city, Yangon, and severe shaking also was felt in Chiang Mai, Thailand`s second-largest. Window curtains briefly swayed in the Thai capital, Bangkok.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was 6 miles south of Mae Lao, Thailand, and 17 miles southwest of Chiang Rai.

The quake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 4.6 miles. Shallow quakes are generally felt more widely.

Southeast Asia is seismically active and quakes are often felt in surrounding nations. Thailand has several fault lines, though in recent times quakes centered in the country have been less severe than those in other Southeast Asian nations such as Myanmar and Indonesia.

The 9.1-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia`s Sumatra island on Dec. 26, 2004, which triggered an Indian Ocean tsunami, killed more than 8,000 people in Thailand`s coastal areas, among the overall death toll of 240,000.

The last quake in Thailand approaching a similar size to Monday`s was one of 5.1 magnitude on Dec. 13, 2006, in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Story Image: People evacuate buildings in Thailand after an earthquake. (AP Photo)

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