Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Earthquakes could cause underwater volcanic eruptions

Thailand will prepare evacuation plans for tourists and residents on the southern coast hit by the 2004 tsunami following a series of underwater tremors in the Andaman Sea.The head of Thailand's National Committee on Natural Disaster Warning says more quakes could cause a major eruption of underwater volcanos, which could trigger a tsunami again.

The committee says between March 9 and 12 it had detected 39 quakes ranging in magnitude from 4.0 to 5.3 on the Richter scale near the Andaman Islands, some 500 kilometres west of the southern Thai province of Ranong. The epicenter of the quakes was located 20 kilometers below the seabed, the same depth as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake which triggered the killer tsunami that left more than 220-thousand people dead in several countries.

But the committee says they are closely monitoring quakes and so far the government had no plans to issue an evacuation order.

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