A strong earthquake shook northern Thailand and Myanmar on Monday evening, smashing windows, cracking walls and roads and damaging Buddhist temples. No casualties were reported.
People were evacuated from the terminal of the main airport in Chiang Rai, a northern Thai city near the epicenter of the 6.0-magnitude temblor.
Pieces of the building\’s ceiling fell, but there was no damage to the runway or flight disruptions, airport General Manager Damrong Klongakara said. No one was hurt at the airport, but Damrong said the terminal and its roof were still being checked for further damage.
There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries, although Chiang Rai residents said they had seen cracked building facades, broken shop windows and damage to roads.
An official said power had been cut in Phan district, where the epicenter was.
"So far there are no reports of injured or dead," said Manat Khamtai, head of the Disaster Mitigation Department in Chiang Rai province. "In Phan there\’s a report that a school building has been cracked and the power is still out across the district.”
As darkness fell another official warned residents in the province to brace for aftershocks.
People ran down stairs in office buildings in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, and severe shaking also was felt in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second-largest city. Window curtains briefly swayed in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
No casualties were reported and only roads and buildings were damaged, said Anusorn Kaewkangwan, deputy director-general at the Interior Ministry.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was 9 kilometers south of Mae Lao, Thailand, and 27 kilometers southwest of Chiang Rai. Shaking was felt in Bangkok, 800 kilometers south of Chiang Rai.
The quake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 7.4 kilometers. Shallow quakes are generally felt more widely.
Southeast Asia is seismically active and quakes are often felt in surrounding nations. Major earthquakes are rare in Thailand, although tremors often strike the north of the country.
In recent times, quakes centered in the country have been less severe than those in other Southeast Asian nations, such as Indonesia and Burma, formerly known as Myanmar.