6.3 earthquake rocks Laos

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shake map of the earthquake.

According to the USGS a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the Luang Namtha province of Laos at approximately 3:56 p.m. local time [4:56 a.m. eastern time]. The quake was felt as far as Bangkok.

The epicenter was reported to be 165 km [105 miles] west, northwest of Luang Prabang, Laos at a depth of 38.1 km [23.7 miles]. The quake was located just north of the town Chiang Rai provincial.

There are no reports of damage as of yet, but the USGS reports that damage in the area could be "moderate to heavy."

"The tremor could be felt in Bangkok and the northern provinces. The people in Oudomxai, near the epicentre, were shocked and ran out of their buildings but there were no reports of casualties or damage," said Smith Dharmasarojana, the director of the National Disaster Warning Center.

Witnesses report office building shaking in Bangkok and several of the skyscrapers have been evacuated.

No tsunami warning has been issued.