Environmental News Archive

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Bangkok to be declared an earthquake risk zone

15 September 2007 (channelnewsasia)

BANGKOK : Thailand is drafting regulations to declare Bangkok an earthquake-prone zone after the capital felt the effects of a recent 8.4-magnitude quake in Indonesia, a government official said Saturday.

The new law would require all new tall buildings in Bangkok and surrounding provinces to be quake-proof. It has been drafted by the interior ministry and is currently being reviewed by Thailand's top legal experts.

"Bangkok's soil is soft and it generates more tremors," said Worawoot Tantiwanit, a senior official with the mineral resources department.

"In the most recent major earthquake in Indonesia on Wednesday, people in high rise buildings in Bangkok clearly felt the effects," he told AFP.

Worawoot said his department was currently studying the risks posed to the capital by three fault lines within a 100-kilometre (62-mile) radius of Bangkok.

Ten of Thailand's 76 provinces are currently listed as earthquake-risk zones, mostly in the northwest.

The proposed law would add 12 central and southern provinces to the list.

In May, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck western Laos near the border with Thailand, sending people fleeing into the streets after high-rise buildings rocked and swayed in Bangkok. - AFP/ch

Comment: Should Singapore do a similar study?