23 May 2024

Several buildings in several districts of Thailand’s northern province of Nan, including a 500-year old ubosot, or ordination hall, were damaged by a strong earthquake centred in the Laos PDR this morning.

Cracks appeared on several buildings, including a border patrol police school and teacher lodgings in Chalerm Phrakiat district, the Government Savings Bank office in Tha Wang Pa district and the ubosot of Wat Phra That Khao Noi, which is located on a hilltop in Tambon Chaisathan of Muang district.

Local officials said that cracks appeared in the foundations of the ubosot and the temple is waiting for fine arts officials to arrive to assess the damage, adding that the temple suffered serious damage in a quake 57 years ago.

The temple’s abbot, Phra Maha Charun Sirithammo, said the tremors were so strong that he and the other monks had to evacuate to the temple’s front yard for safety.

Mr. Witthaya Khanthayot, an engineer at the Fine Arts Department’s office in Nan, said that officials will examine 25 archaeological sites in the province, especially the famous Wat Phumin, Wat That Chang Kham Woraviharn and Wat Chae Haeng, to assess the damage.

Mr. Kathayuth Chupoon, managing director of Hong Sa power plant in Laos, said in a statement today that several buildings in the plant’s compound were damaged, but officials could not yet gain access to assess the damage for safety reasons.

He said that inspection and assessment will be carried out immediately it is confirmed that it is safe for officials to enter the area.

In Thailand’s north-eastern province of Khon Kaen, medical personnel and patients were rapidly evacuated from Ratchapruek Hospital this morning, after strong vibrations were felt.

Dr. Thirawat Srinakharin, a hospital executive, said that he had to order the evacuation for safety reasons.