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Residents point to cracks in walls in a residence in Thalang, where today's small but loud Phuket earthquake had its epicentre

Update: Phuket Earthquake Centred in Central Phuket, Say Experts

Monday, April 16, 2012

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.

Original Report

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.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Exactly experienced on San Sabai in Patong as your rapid account describes!

Posted by ssresident on April 16, 2012 17:11


All useful informations about worldwide earthquake.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on April 16, 2012 17:23


What would we do without Phuketwan? I've searched USGS and other earthquake reporting sites and NOTHING shows. This quake certainly rattled our house this afternoon and made me jump. I'm located in Thalang.

Posted by agogohome on April 16, 2012 17:37


Hey agogohome, I had two big plateglass windows shatter, now that was a big shakey up? Wow and i was not making passionate love to someone? Blow me what a shaker and a wake up call, Phuket be on standby.

Posted by Robin on April 16, 2012 18:01


Just found this:

The Phuket Wan Tourism News is mentioning an official report that the Magnitude would be M5.3! At we have a hard time to believe this, as such an earthquake must have been detected in the meantime by the major seismological agencies in the world. We think that the Thai officials have referred to the Sumatra aftershock, which in NO way can be linked to the current earthquake (providing that the data we have is correct). The newspaper mentions also that officials had had calls from Rawai, Chalong, Patong and Kamala about the earthquake.

Posted by Singha Gold on April 16, 2012 18:09

Editor Comment:

Sorry, Singha Gold, you've lost us. This is mostly unhelpful. Please get your facts straight at We have a very hard time believing you. You make too many assumptions. And we are not a newspaper . . .


Once again, only PW has any English language information available.

With the large and economically critically important temporary and permanent foreign population on Phuket one would imagine that an official source of English language information would be made available.

Even a simple website would suffice, as long as someone could be bothered to update and maintain it.

Oh well, mai pen rai. Kin khao liang ?

That said, the quake was certainly felt here in Chalong too. I thought a truck had hit my house, albeit at low speed.

Posted by Steve C. on April 16, 2012 18:34

Editor Comment:

Phuketwan has already told readers we won't be around in the current form next year unless we obtain greater support. At least we know we will be missed.


OH PW you will surley be missed. Then there will be no more decent news channel. Only the ones who are too scared to report anything. So we will be monitoring the bom bom habits of the African honey bee on the island.

Posted by Robin on April 16, 2012 18:52


Why you don't make a classifieds page on your site.
I pay whith plesure for an ad on a dailly updated website.

Posted by wilson on April 16, 2012 21:53

Editor Comment:

Classifieds will eventually be free online everywhere, wilson. But thanks for the thought.


Another two big shakers at 23:02 and 23:03. Got everybody mobile in Srisoonthorn now.

Posted by Robin on April 16, 2012 23:05


Do you know where the Thalang quake is recorded please? e.g. Is there a website which shows a map of the epicentre? The USGS website shows all earthquakes globally (at least I thought so) but does not show any quake in Phuket yesterday. Could it be that the Thalang quake was in fact a strong reverberation caused by the 5.3 in Indonesia? Just wondering. Thanks.

Posted by kel on April 17, 2012 04:29


@ kel, the USGS only shows earthquakes with a magnitude of >6.0. I got aftershocks at 02.03. The Phuket Dragon is just shifting body weight. I hope other folks' damages were minimal? Take care but do not scare.

Posted by Robin on April 17, 2012 06:42


According to the USGS, the epicentre was at Ko Yao, not Phuket. Magnitude was 3.9

Posted by Mike on April 17, 2012 08:34

Editor Comment:

Highly likely that the USGS is imprecise and not always accurate with smaller earthquakes and their locations. Believe what you like.


"Phuket Earthquake Centred in Central Phuket, Say Experts"
Really? looks more like between Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao:

Location 8.093??N, 98.573??E
Depth 10.1 km (6.3 miles)
Distances 29 km (18 miles) NE of Phuket, Thailand
158 km (98 miles) WSW of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
240 km (149 miles) WNW of Hat Yai, Thailand
661 km (410 miles) SSW of BANGKOK, Thailand

Posted by 7 on April 17, 2012 13:44

Editor Comment:

Life is filled with conflicting opinions, 7. I suggest you learn to live with it. Whether the earthquake was centred in Thalang or somewhere in the region of ''the Malay Peninsula, Thailand'' hardly matters. As long as you know which way is up, you'll know which way to run. Don't let details and petty disagreements spoil your life.


@Kel - I have put up a blog with Google map of epicentre and links to relevant websites. Initially the USGS site was not showing the earthquake at all, however today it is showing as Koh Yao - don't know why! Here is link to blog

Posted by Dawn in Phuket on April 17, 2012 17:43


Just seen on TV that it is highly likely that the quake was at Koh Yao NOT Talang as Koh Yao is on the fault whereas Talang is not.

Posted by Dawn in Phuket on April 17, 2012 17:47

Editor Comment:

The USGS allows a 24 kilometre margin in any direction from an epicentre and considers that accurate enough. The Thais prefer to know exactly where earthquake epicentres are in Thailand. We reckon they know.

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