Thailand's National Disaster Warning Centre said a quake hit Thailand on Monday - and the epicenter was in Phuket's Thalang district. Acting director Burin Wetchbantoeng said that an earthquake of 4.3 magnitude hit on Phuket at 4.44pm with its epicenter at Phuket's central Heroine's Monument Thalang district - the quake that everyone heard on Phuket - while another quake, at 5.4-magnitude, struck Indonesia's Sumatra two minutes later. An expert told Phuketwan there hadn't been an earthquake with its epicentre on Phuket in modern times.
PHUKET: A substantial earthquake was felt across Phuket this afternoon. Officials put it first at a magnitude of 5.5 then reduced that to 5.3.
Officials were deciding whether an official evacuation was required - but thousands of people opted to leave Patong anyway in a replay of Wednesday's exodus.
Roads appeared to be closed to incoming traffic and one Phuketwan reader reported: ''I'm driving over the hill on the wrong side of the road, and so are hundreds of other people.''
Unlike the shakes that came last Wednesday, sparking a tsunami alert that proved to be false, today's shake was more pronounced.
The sharper shake occurred about 4.50pm, quickly sending the mobile telephone networks into overload. However, today the telephone systems appeared to recover and were back in action quickly.
Phuketwan readers on both sides of the island - in Patong on the west coast and Pa Klok on the east coast - reported the same violent, short shake.
Monday's quake was initially measured at magnitude 5.5, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation on Phuket. Later this was reduced to 5.3.
Officials had had calls from Rawai, Chalong, Patong and Kamala about the earthquake.
The aftershock came with officials still assessing the lessons from Wednesday's evacuation from Phuket's west coast holiday centres.
A Phuketwan reporter at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where patients left the building on Wednesday during the first 8.6 earthquake, said that no evacuation had begun so far this time.
An official at the DDPM said at 5.20pm that talks were still taking place to assess whether an evacuation was required.
The aftershock was believed to have been at a depth of two kilometres, in approximately the same area off the Indonesian island of Sumatra as Wednesday's two larger earthquakes.