Thailand Not Prepared for Earthquakes

 | Thu 30 Apr 2015 05:03 ICT

CityNews – Thailand is not prepared for another massive earthquake, according to Dr Pennung Warnitchai, a professor at the Asia Institute of Technology.


Speaking with the Nation, Pennung has claimed that most buildings in the earthquake-risk zone are not earthquake resistant.

His comments come following inspections at Chiang Rai schools that suffered heavy damage from the 6.3 magnitude earthquake last May. Almost one year later and earthquake-resistant buildings are still under construction.

Pennung goes on to warn that the law that sets standards for quake-resistant buildings does not cover all structures and that there is a lack of earthquake expertise among Thai engineers.

“For instance, most of the buildings in Mae Lao district, which are small houses, are not covered by the law, which only covers structures taller than 15 metres and public buildings,” Pennung said.

“The skill of designing earthquake-resistant buildings is taught at the master’s degree level or higher. I think engineering undergraduates should also study this subject, so we can have more engineers who can build earthquake-resistant buildings.”

According to Pannung, although Thailand is not facing any imminent risk of a massive earthquake, the Thai fault lines are capable of producing an earthquake measuring up to 7.0 on the Richter scale.