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Evacuated patients outside Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City this afternoon

Phuket Earthquake: Tsunami Fears, Unofficial Evacuation Underway. 5.40pm is Possible Big Wave Arrival Time on Phuket

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
UPDATE

PHUKET: IF there's a tsunami, it will hit Phuket at 5.40pm, officials at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation told Phuketwan at 4.45pm today. Patong Hpspital has moved patients to top floors. Phuket International Airport paused outgoing flights.

Original Report

PHUKET: An earthquake of undetermined magnitude shook parts of Phuket this afternoon. In Phuket City, residents reported feeling the tremor about 3.50pm.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation confirmed immediately that an earthquake had occurred off Sumatra. The entire region was affected.

At 4.20pm Thailand's Royal Thai Navy reported a tsunami had been generated, but could not say of what scale. The DDPM said that evacuation preparations were being made, but the order had not been given yet to evacuate.

Hundreds of people were already on the move along Phuket's west coast and the entire Andaman region. People in the provinces of Phuket, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Satun were heading for higher ground, just in case.

Sathian Peachkiang, the head of the village of Nam Khem in Phang Nga, where 800 died in the 2004 tsunami, said the warning sirens had sounded and villagers had fled to higher ground.

Traffic was already reported to be chaotic around Patong and Phuket's west coast. Hospitals and shopping centres - in some cases a long way from the coast - evacuated because of the earthquake as a precaution.

News agency reports said the ''massive earthquake'' rocked Indonesia. It was not known whether the earthquake had triggered a tsunami, but many people were evacuating to be certain.

Residents of endangered areas were advised to switch on the television to listen to Channel 3 for reports. Mobile telephone services were quickly overwhelmed by mutliple calls.

It is believed evacuations were underway along parts of Phuket's holiday west coast and in Krabi and Phang Nga.

Initial reports put the quake at a magnitude of between 8.6 and 8.9. The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004 was caused by an earthquake of 9.1.

Indonesia's geophysical agency issued a tsunami warning following the quake, which had its epicentre in Aceh. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued Indian Ocean-wide tsunami warning.

Tremors were also felt in Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and several other cities on the eastern coast of India.

The quake struck 500 km southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island, at a depth of 33 km, the US Geological survey said.

Indonesia's disaster management agency said power was down in Aceh province and people were gathering on high ground as sirens warned of the danger, Reuters news agency reported.

''The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground. Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere,'' said Sutopo, spokesman for the agency.

The 2004 tsunami, triggered in the same area, killed 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean, including 160,000 in Aceh and 5400 in Thailand.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Please wipe out the tuk tuk's, taxis and jet skis. We live in hope for a great songkran of cleaning up the west coast. Roll in tsunami.

Posted by Dun on April 11, 2012 16:21

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Parts of Bangalore also felt mild after shocks at 2:15 Pm today on 11th April 2012.

Posted by Arjun on April 11, 2012 16:24

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Our thoughts are with you. We hope for the best. Keep yourself safe.

Posted by Lena on April 11, 2012 16:26

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Please Dont Hurt Phuket, i want a nice holiday in a weeks time when i celibrate my 30th Visit.

Posted by Gregg Cornell on April 11, 2012 17:25

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Hope everyone is safe.. Thinking of you from Aus. Let's hope it's all precautionary. Love Phuket

Posted by Sue on April 11, 2012 17:25

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Here on Phuket, waiting for the wave, our home is quite high, in tsunami evacuation zone, hope it won't get us

Posted by Tony on April 11, 2012 17:26

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We are in phuket main street and it is 17H35 and there is no sighting of a tsunami. most people have evacuated.

Posted by Kevin on April 11, 2012 17:38

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My friends are over there right on the beach any updates are most appreciated .pray for them please

Posted by Anonymous on April 11, 2012 18:01

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Here in Chalong near Home Pro absolutely no warning whatsoever has been heard by anyone I've spoken to and I've been outside all day too.

First I heard about the earthquake was when I came in and checked my emails. A newspaper from back home had contacted me asking what is going on here.

So much for the Tsunami warning system.

Posted by Steve C. on April 11, 2012 18:14

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Having just left Phuket after 6 years my thoughts and prayers are with all my friends. Take care & be safe

Posted by David R on April 11, 2012 18:19

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Hi anyone on the ground now? Would really appreciate at update as my GF is over there now. And I am worried sick in singapore

Posted by Anonymous on April 11, 2012 18:19

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6 : 17 PM US GS is issuing a watch only-not a warning. And their mapped location has the quake it on the east side of Indonesia, not on the tip as reported. Phuket is too far south in projections of POSSIBLE landfall.

Posted by Media Watcher on April 11, 2012 18:35

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Hey Dun, mate. I detect a certain deficiency in the way you would like to express a sentiment and the execution of it on a public forum/news site. In the light of this, could you possibly refrain from writing knee-jerk comments? It's not much to ask...

Posted by Sam W on April 11, 2012 18:45

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Dun,
Are you stupid?
My Parents are stuck there and need help and wankers like you are allowed to breathe?

Posted by David on April 11, 2012 19:02

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@ Dun. You are an insensitive dickhead!!
@Ed. Why was this insensitive dickhead's comment allowed??

Posted by another steve on April 11, 2012 19:27

Editor Comment:

Because Dun's comment was far less insensitive than most of the other dickheads. Look upon Dun as a token dickhead.

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I was in Ao nang and everyone was panicking and running to the hills of Krabi. I made up the hill and got a room on the top floor. Hope its safe. I heard Phuket got hit already but dont know the damage. The quake was big and now the aftershocks are scary.

Posted by MIKE on April 11, 2012 19:28

Editor Comment:

No tsunami. They are big enough not to be missed. Best to try not to exaggerate too much, Mike. It didn't happen.

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Ever since hearing that there maybe another tsunami my heart sank to my feet as i have many friends and my Partner lives in Patong also and I just cant get into contact with her and many other close friends. As to wiping out tuk tuk and others it means people will die.Do you really want folk to die, I think that many folk that call Phuket their no 2 home as do i will feel different to your feelings on wiping them out, i dont agree with what the people are doing but nobody deserves to die you just dont stop and think of how it will effect the families, be it mums or dads how will the kids feel about that because as you do know or not family means so much to these wonderful people,even with my partner who is thai whnever I was in hospital she was there,even my very close thai friends were there for me daily I asked why do you come everyday they said your part of our family,one day you maybe fortunate to have people as such and maybe then you wont make comments as such.Go in peace, i wish you no ill wills

Posted by Alex on April 11, 2012 20:26

Editor Comment:

Dun is just an one example of several unpublished commenters who, as usual, proved themselves to have nothing to offer. Totally brainless. I have to put up with reading their stuff. These people lack courage, intelligence and tact. Don't waste your time on them.

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All the shops in Tesco's shopping centre are closed tonight. Not unusual you might say, but I am talking about Thalang. lol

Posted by agogohome on April 11, 2012 21:01

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Sooner have false panic than lost lives, have so many beautiful friends in Phuket.......stay safe

Posted by Helen on April 12, 2012 15:44

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Can't keep my mouth shut any longer....Dun, if you dont like it you dont have to be there . Go to a non tourist area and then you can complain about what is not there.Your choice to be in a tourist area.

Posted by Helen on April 12, 2012 15:51

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It would be interesting to know if the alarm on the beaches went off because of the ocean buoy or because someone just pushed a button.

Posted by cekipa on April 12, 2012 17:26


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