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Varsity to build quake centre

MAE FA LUANG University in Chiang Rai will next year start constructing a Bt41-million earthquake monitoring centre covering the North of Thailand and other countries in the upper Mekong region.

When the complex is completed in four years, it would work with government agencies such as the Meteorological Department and Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Assoc Prof Charlie Navanugraha, director of the university's Institute for the Study of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, said yesterday.

The centre would share a database and serve as a reference library for quake-related knowledge. It would maintain a training facility for evacuation and safety drills.

There was no such service or facility in the North, even though the region was home to eight of all 14 active fault lines in the country.

The centre would also issue early warnings for other natural disasters such as flash floods, landslides and mudslides while assisting in predicting the direction of frequent smog or helping out firemen with jungle blazes.

The National Disaster Warning Centre yesterday ended its observation of aftershocks but cautioned residents of Chiang Rai, especially those living near the epicentre to stay on guard for seven to 10 more days.


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