Bangkok mulls earthquake plan

Construction News

The Bangkok Metropolitan Council has set up two committees to develop plans to deal with the threat of earthquakes.

BMC president, Sutthichai Veerakulsoonthorn, said it is important for Bangkok to be prepared for natural disasters even though the capital city is a considerable distance from quake zones in Southeast Asia.

“One of the committees will work on a safety plan, while the other will inspect tall buildings to test their integrity,” he said.

In addition, the Public Works Department will support  by helping identify which buildings are not complying with safety regulations especially fire alarms and evacuation procedures.

“Building owners and representative from the construction industry will be invited to a seminar to exchange their ideas on how safety procedures could be implemented,” he said.

At the same time, building control regulations will also be revised to raise public confidence.

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paripatra said he has ordered the BMA to establish an earthquake action plan, which would be activated in the case of an emergency.

“As 4.7 square km of Bangkok is connected to the sea, a number of old commercial buildings would be at risk if a quake caused a tsunami in the Gulf of Thailand.”

Deputy Bangkok governor, Teerachon Manomaipiboon, also said most new high-rise building structures in Bangkok had been designed to withstand earthquakes.

However, he expressed concerns over the integrity of four to five-storey buildings, which were constructed more than 30 years ago.

According to Thai Meteorological Department’s Seismological Bureau, there have been 15 aftershocks with a magnitude of around 2 on the Richter scale in Phuket province up to Thursday morning, following a 4.3 magnitude quake on Monday.

The tremors were felt by residents in Thalang district. These aftershocks were detected five times on Monday from 2030 until 2347. Meanwhile, four aftershocks were recorded on the following day from 0100 until 1218 and six times Wednesday from 0049 until 2039.

However, the Seismological Bureau claimed that there were also around 50 aftershocks of lower than a 2 magnitude detected.

An earthquake of 8.6 magnitude struck off the coast of Indonesia, 11 April, causing a tsunami warning. It was called off at 2030 Bangkok time.


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