6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes North Thailand: 1 Dead, 23 Injured

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 6, 2014 3:27 PM EST

After a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck northern Thailand's Chiang Rai Province on Monday evening, one person died and at least 23 others were reportedly injured.

REUTERS/TIM KELLEHER/HANDOUT
A car sinks into a hole caused by an earthquake in the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch June 13, 2011. REUTERS/TIM KELLEHER/HANDOUT

Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt who immediately traveled to Chaing Rai Province said many roads and transportation routes had been severely damaged. Thailand's Meteorological Department measured the earthquake at 6.3, while the U.S. Geological Survey measured it at 6.0. It had a depth of 4.6 miles. Albeit shallow, this particular earthquake was felt as far as Myanmar.

Thailand media reported more than 50 aftershocks followed Monday's temblor, resulting in power outage in many areas and forcing massive evacuation of patients from local hospitals.

"Since last evening (Monday) there were six large aftershocks with a magnitude between 5.0 to 5.9 and the last was this morning," Burin Wechbunthung of the Meteorological Department told AFP, adding there were a dozen smaller tremors.

Buildings and temples in the northern provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have been damaged.

Wat Rongkhun, one of the well-known temples in Thailand also known as the White Temple, was closed.

"The spire of the main building came off and the tiles on the roof fell off," Chalermchai Kositpiphat, the artist who designed the temple, told Nation TV.

"I still don't know how we can sleep tonight.... It was shaking the whole time and then aftershocks followed four to five times."

The head of a Buddha statue in the Udomwaree Temple fell off. Cracks and damages in its ceiling have also been felt.

Located in Thailand's mountainous north, Chiang Rai is near the borders of both Myanmar and Laos. The quake's epicenter was in a largely rural area of small villages, farms and forests.

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(Photo: REUTERS/TIM KELLEHER/HANDOUT / )
A car sinks into a hole caused by an earthquake in the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch June 13, 2011. REUTERS/TIM KELLEHER/HANDOUT
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