VIENTIANE, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Damage of earthquakes in Hongsa and Xaysathan districts in norhtern Lao province of Xayaboury last Thursday has been estimated at over two billion kip (over 225,453 U.S. dollars), with over 300 families affected, the government said Thursday.
Two earthquakes measuring 6.4 and 5.9 magnitude struck the districts of Hongsa and Xaysathan of Xayaboury (some 240 km north of Lao capital Vientiane) last Thursday, injuring eight people, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday quoting Director of Labor and Social Welfare Department Nouphone Xaypanyachith.
Nouphone said provincial authorities and army personnel were helping people carry out repairs but construction materials were still needed for this work.
A total of 134 families in 17 villages in Hongsa district were affected, while 71 houses, 11 schools, 12 temples, four hospital centers, and two offices suffered varying degrees of damage. Seven other houses were damaged beyond repair and 24 families suffered damage to their belongings. The total property damage in Hongsa has been estimated at 1.1 billion kip (more than 123,999 U.S. dollars).
Meanwhile, 169 families in 18 villages of Xaysathan district were affected and three people were injured. Sixteen houses were damaged beyond repair, 29 houses sustained moderate damage, and 124 houses were slightly affected. Eight offices and over 1 km of road also sustained structural damage. Damage to property in Xaysathan district has been estimated at 976 million kip (over 110,021 U.S. dollars), said the report.
The epicenter of the quakes was recorded at a depth of 5 km and about 19 km southeast of Nam Chang village in Chalerm Prakiat district in Thailand's Nan province.
According to the Meteorology and Hydrology Department under Lao Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, there were 18 earthquakes in total, with two being particularly strong.
The first took place at 4:03 a.m. local time last Thursday and registered a magnitude of 5.9 in central Hongsa district, and the border area between northern Thailand and Laos. This was followed by another at 6:50 a.m. local time on the same day with a magnitude of 6.4, according to the report.