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Earthquakes hit in seconds, too fast to issue warnings, says seismologist


After strong earthquakes hit Laos over the past week and resulted in strong tremors in Thailand, many netizens are asking why the country does not have a more efficient emergency disaster alert system.

In response, seismologist Dr Penneung Wanichchai explained that earthquakes sometimes hit areas within seconds, giving the authorities little or no time to raise the alarm.

Citing the North of Thailand, which has many active fault lines, said there may not be enough time to issue a warning.

Penneung, who works with the Asian Institute of Technology, added that even in Bangkok, where the closest fault line is several hundred kilometres away, the warning system may only have 10 or 20 seconds to issue a warning before seismic waves run through the capital.

He said this short warning period may not be enough to evacuate people but may give them time to shift to a safe place or slow down a high-speed train.

He added that the best defence is for people to be ready at all times and build strong, stable buildings that can withstand earthquakes.

Thailand has 15 active fault lines.

Published : December 26, 2021

By : THE NATION