Bangkok, November 21
A shallow 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit northwestern Laos near the Thai border early on Thursday, the United States Geological Survey reported, alarming locals who felt buildings shake as far away as Bangkok.
There were no immediate reports of damage after the quake hit at 6.50 am (2350 GMT on Wednesday).
But tremors could be felt more than 700 kilometres (435 miles) away in the Thai capital, where Pope Francis is currently on a four-day visit.
“The shaking...was the main shock from a quake in Laos at 6.50 am and was felt in northern and northeastern Thailand and Bangkok and suburbs,” said Sophon Chaila, an official at the Thai Meteorological Department.
“As of now there is no report of damage,” Sophon said.
The department said the quake affected nine provinces in Thailand and there were four lesser aftershocks. It also became a top trending topic on Twitter in Thailand.
Residents in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi also felt buildings sway.
“The ceiling lights were shaking quite strongly. I felt dizzy and scared,” said Hanoi resident Tran Hoa Phuong, who felt the earthquake in her 27-storey apartment building. AFP