BANGKOK — A Senator has called to amend national building regulations following a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Chiang Rai province last week.
The quake shook the northern region on 5 May, as the nation was celebrating the auspicious anniversary of His Majesty the King's Coronation, and caused extensive damages to many roads, residences, and historic sites.
The earthquake was one of the largest to have hit Thailand in modern history.
Speaking to the newly-convened Senate in Bangkok, Chiang Rai Senator Mongkolchai Duangsaengthong said he has asked Chulalongkorn University and local administrations in Chiang Rai province to send experts to inspect many affected buildings and look for any long-term consequences caused by the earthquake.
Mr. Mongkolchai also urged the authorities to dispatch psychiatrists to help frightened citizens who have fled their homes in the aftermath of the quake and have been living in temporary shelters since.
"The people who are affected are too afraid to return to their homes," Mr. Mongkolchai said.
Furthermore, the Senator said the government should amend the current Building Control Act to include preparations for future quakes, while the Department of Disaster Prevention should regularly conduct earthquake drills for the public.
Senate Speaker Surachai Liangboonlertchai replied that he would pass Mr. Mongkolchai's proposals to relevant authorities, and added that the Senate could also organise a fund-raising on behalf of the earthquake victims in Chiang Rai province.
Meanwhile, local officials in Chiang Rai said the damage survey in the province showed that at least 54,000 people have been affected by the 5 May earthquake and its numerous aftershocks. One fatality has been reported.
According to the reports, 8,371 residential buildings, 63 temples, 31 governmental buildings, five roads, three schools, one hotel were damaged by the quake.
Officials warned that the toll is not the final number, as the damage survey is still ongoing in some districts.
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