WITH over 40 earthquakes of 4.0 – 4.9 magnitude having occurred in the Andaman Sea off Andaman and Nicobar Islands since Monday (July 4) Phuket Earthquake Monitoring and Surveillance Centre today (July 6) called all volunteers to report to alarm towers along the Andaman coast to prepare for possible emergency and educate people about tsunami, Workpointtoday.com said.
However the United States Geological Survey said that a quake of 5.4 magnitude occurred in the sea 219 kilometres southeast of Port Blair, the capital city of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, at 00:26:57 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) or 7:26:57 a.m. this morning in Thailand.
The Thai Meteorological Department said these quakes occurred because of a movement of faults with shear force.
The 4.9 magnitude quake was not that deep occuring about 10 kilometres underground and this together with the epicentre being in the middle of the sea means a tsunami is unlikely to occur, the Thai weather team said, adding such quakes occur frequently.
Meanwhile Dr. Santi Pailidlee, a lecturer at the Department of Geology, Chulalongkorn University’s Science Faculty, and experts at the Geological Society of Thailand said their analysis of 24 of over 40 quakes that occurred over the past two days showed that this is a normal shifting of faults and means the chances of a tsunami occurring are very low.
Even if one were to occur it would not be as severe as the one in 2004, they said, however adding that this series of quakes had to be watched because it is not yet conclusive whether they are a moderate quake cluster or foreshocks of a larger main quake.
On Dec 26, 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra and triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia.
In Thailand this tsunami killed 4,812 people, injured 8,457 others with 4,499 missing. It was Khao Lak that was hardest hit with many foreign tourists among the victims.
Meanwhile the Thai navy said its wave monitoring station on Koh Miang, off Phangnga province, has adequate tools and equipment to measure the water level with the team there also regularly conducting tsunami warning drills.
Top: Map showing location of the quakes published by India.com