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M6.3 Ban Mone Earthquake, 2007


16 May 2007


ENE of Ban Mone, Laos


08:56:18 UTC


20.473 N (NEIC)


100.701 E (NEIC)


23.0 kms (NEIC)


Mw 6.3 (HRV), 6.2 (NEIC)

Additional Info

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A strong earthquake struck western parts of Laos, including adjoining border regions of China, Myanmar & Thailand, on 16 May 2007 at 08:56 UTC time. It had a magnitude of Mw=6.3 and was felt over a wide swathe of the Indo-China peninsula causing some minor damage. A Mb=4.5 tremor occurred in the immediate region 19-hours prior to this event. The Mw=6.3 earthquake was followed by at least one aftershock for magnitude Ms=4.5 at 09:31 UTC.

The earthquake was centred
13.2 kms ENE of Ban Mone (Bekeo Province), Laos,
19.5 kms W of Ban Ta Fa (Bekeo Province), Laos,

38.1 kms WSW of Ban Muang Kan (Chiang Rai Province), Thailand,
56.5 kms ESE of Wan Kawkaw (
Shan State), Myanmar,
85.1 kms WNW of Muang Houn (
Oudomxai Province), Laos,
92.5 kms SW of Louang Namtha (Louang Namtha Province), Laos,
143 kms NE of Phan (
Chiang Rai Province), Thailand,
163 kms WNW of
Louangprabhang (Louangprabhang Province), Laos,
258 kms NE of Chiang Mai (Chiang Mai Province), Thailand,
342 kms NW of Vientiane (Viangchan Province), Laos,
385 kms E of Taungyi (Shan State), Myanmar,
539 kms W of Hanoi (Ha Noi Province), Vietnam,

759 kms N of Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand.

The earthquake was felt strongly in western Laos, especially in the provinces of Bekeo,
Louang Nampha and Oudomxai. Several buildings were damaged, including four temples, two stupas and two schools at Houayxay and Pakhta in Bekeo Province. Many people were frightened and went outdoors at Oudomxai town in the province of the same name, where it lasted close to 10-seconds. Parked cars were seen shaking in Oudomxai. It was also felt strongly at Louang Nampha in the Louang Nampha province; people ran outdoors and one eyewitness saw "produce" falling from shelves. Some residents of Louang Prabhang reported feeling tremors and experienced spells of dizziness, that are associated with distant long-period effects of large earthquakes, for close to 2-minutes. Mild tremors were also felt in multi-storied buildings as far as the capital, Vientiane.

Strong tremors were also experienced in northern Thailand. In the Chiang Saen district, bricks and cement were dislodged from the thousand year old Wat Prathat Chedi Luang Pagoda. A spire on the top of Wat Phra That Jomkitti Pagoda and the lotus-shaped tip of Wat Pasak Pagoda were knocked down. Cracks developed in the Jomkitti Pagoda. Buildings were shaken strongly in Chiang Rai, knocked hanging objects off walls. In the Mae Rim district, loose objects were thrown off shelves.  The 5-storey Prachanukroh hospital was vacated and later declared off limits. Seismic seiches were observed in swimming pools in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. In the Muang district, the quake rattled windows and many people ran outdoors. Tremors were felt in much of the northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Lampang, Nan and Phayao. Locals and tourists rushed out of buildings in the city of Chiang Mai where the quake was reported to have been felt for close to a minute. The earthquake was also felt hundreds of kilometres to the south in the capital, Bangkok. Several high-rise buildings, including the offices of the Xinhua news agency and the Swedish Embassy, were evacuated, especially in the Klong Toey, Phayatai, Phetchaburi, Sathorn, Silom, Sukhomwit and Vipavadi. In an isolated incident, window panes were reportedly damaged in the top floors of the MBK building on Siam Square. On 26 May 2007, a 2-storey building that was part of a Tourist Information Centre and damaged in the earthquake, collapsed in the Mae Rim district but did not cause any injuries. The structure had been evacuated after it subsided during the 16 May earthquake.

Elsewhere in the region, strong tremors were felt in Dien Bien Province in north-western Vietnam. Tremors were also felt hundreds of kilometres away to the east in high-rise buildings in Hanoi, Vietnam; the shocks were most distinctly felt in the central districts
of Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung and Hoan Kiem. People in the Vincom twin towers on Ba Trieu street, the Melia and Daewoo hotels, the Hoa Binh Tower on Hoang Quoc Viet street, the Tungshing building on Ngo Quyen, and the Prime Centre left their buildings but later returned to work. In the Vincom twin towers, computers, furniture and window blinds rattled and sent office workers rushing outdoors. Tremors were also felt in Jinghong in China's Yunnan Province rattling windows for close to a minute. The effects of this earthquake in adjoining parts of the Shan State in Myanmar are unavailable.

01) National Earthquake Information Centre (NEIC/PDE), Golden, USA.
Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor Solution (HRV), Harvard, USA.
03) Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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