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Phuket's Governor Tri (centre) marks the milestone MoU with retailers

Phuket Retailers, Hospitals Offer Tsunami Support

Friday, December 24, 2010
PHUKET has a good system in place to deal with the aftermath of a second tsunami - if it ever comes. Deals and drills established the high quality of Phuket's response today.

For the first time, Phuket held a tsunami drill during Phuket's tourism high season, an acknowledgment that the need for an adequate warning system and suitable follow-up is ever-present.

Phuket remains in a tsunami zone, even though a second big wave on the scale of the 2004 disaster is considered unlikely.

Since the first tsunami struck almost six years ago, there have been those on Phuket and along the Andaman coast who wanted to pretend it was a once-only event and to hope that memories of it would all go away.

Today's drill was a statement to the contrary - that Phuket and the Andaman need to be constantly ready for another tsunami, and to show residents and visitors that they will be safe if a second tsunami does happen to come.

Nobody can predict whether that will happen. And it might never happen. But being prepared if it does happen was the key to today's drill.

Governor Tri Augkaradacha oversaw today's drill, announcing that several large retail organisations had signed an MoU to provide instant relief packages of food and other goods if it did.

Phuket's hospitals have also agreed on a group action-plan in the event of a second tsunami.

What was good to see today was the quality of service in a potential response, and the thought that has clearly gone into coordinating the reaction.

It does not mean that a tsunami is coming anytime soon - although there is no telling when one might come. But it does mean that Phuket appears to be well-prepared if something untoward does happen.

Phuketwan did not note any representatives at the drill today from Phuket resorts, who would have the task of alerting guests and organising their evacuation if a tsunami happened to come at any time, but particularly between the hours of 1am and 6am.

Almost 5400 tourists and residents died when the tsunami struck Phuket and the Andaman coast on December 26, 2004, just a small portion of the 220,000 who perished around the Indian Ocean.

Representatives from Aceh province in Indonesia, where about 160,000 died, were at the drill in Saphan Hin public park in Phuket City today as observers. Phuket has undertaken to support development of Aceh's future preparedness skills.

Tsunami memorial events are to be held early on Sunday in Patong, Kamala and Mai Khao, with other commemorations planned for the neighboring province of Phang Nga, where most of Thailand's deaths occurred.

A second disaster drill is to be held at Phuket International Airport later today.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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"Phuketwan did not note any representatives at the drill today from Phuket resorts"

Shameful really, possibly they were too busy scamming people. 8 of us, including 2 children went to a well known 5* resort for 'brunch' yesterday paying 1900baht per head which included 'free flow' wine. We were faced with an additional bill of 2020baht for water, soft drinks and coffee. Grossly unfair to those that don't drink wine.

Posted by Pete on December 25, 2010 08:44

Editor Comment:

Ah, the Merry Christmas scam. Expat on expat.

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"Phuketwan did not note any representatives at the drill today from Phuket resorts"

That is possibly because none of the resorts were invited to attend.

As owner of the airport hotel, I note that no-one in authority has bothered to inform me of, nor to invite me to attend today's drill at the airport, despite the supportive role that we played in the aftermath of the OneTwoGo aircrash.

Perhaps I should hold my own tsunami drill for the 120+ guests who are booked to stay here between today and the New Year.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on December 25, 2010 15:11

Editor Comment:

I find it odd that the local authorities have the warnings organised, and the aftermath organised, yet resorts - where staff will have to wake up or alert their guests - are not consulted.

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@ pete:
We just came back from a Sunday-brunch at a 5*-hotel under Swiss management in Karon. Such a rich variety we have never seen before - for Baht 1530++, incl. free flow of wine and even coffee was included! You should choose this place for your next Sunday brunch!

Posted by herbert on December 26, 2010 15:52


Wednesday October 27, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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