(20 April 2012) Aftershocks on the resort island of Phuket are forecast to last for about another week, even as a small tremor jolted the province again early Friday morning.
Phuket Governor Tree Akharadecha on Friday said that the minor tremor, measuring 4 on the Richter scale, rattled the vicinity at 3am in Thalang district.
Citing informants from the Department of Mineral Resources, Mr Tree explained that the aftershocks were predicted to continue for seven more days.
He urged the public to be calm amid the ongoing series of mild tremors, and gave assurances that the authorities are ready to assist the public immediately if a strong earthquake hits the province.
In addition, the governor explained that relevant officials and agencies continued to inform residents regarding the situation, asking the public to pay attention to and believe official quake-related announcements and to be confident in the warning system.
Regarding a rumour posted on a social network that Phuket Island was predicted to sink into the sea next Saturday. Gov Tree assigned Viroj Suwannawong, a provincial official, to file a complaint at a police station for further prosecution and searching for a person who posted this message on the Facebook and persons who shared and spread the information.
To assure the public and quell such a rumour, Mr Tree announced that he would step down as governor if Phuket does indeed sink.
In a related development, Phuket MP Raywat Areerob said on Friday he submitted a letter to Deputy Prime Minister/Interior Minister Yongyuth Vichaidit, asking for a centre or an office in Phuket to inform and alert the public about earthquake-related updates.
Mr Raywat also asked local agencies to consider building a Luang Pu Supha-Hat Paton Beach Road to be used as a shortcut evacuation route.
He also submitted letters to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk and Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap to speed up installing high-technology seismographs in the areas.
A 4.3-magnitude earthquake epicentred in Si Sunthon sub-district of Thalang district occurred last Sunday (April 15), followed by more than 50 minor tremors prompting fear among local residents and foreign tourists.